Possible changes, delays for Lafayette Village

State environmental regulations are forcing some minor design changes for Meridia Lafayette Village while the developer also has requested more space to redesign the 115-unit project more favorably.

The five-story complex  at the corner of Monroe and Main streets was on track to break ground at some point this year. The PILOT application had planned for a January groundbreaking with completion by February 2014 while the redevelopment agreement foresaw an August groundbreaking, with construction to take two years.

The developer, Capodagli Property Company, has requested to have a portion of Dock Street vacated from Monroe Street to the end of the project to create a better design for the units. Redevelopment Agency Executive Director Peter Pelissier told the agency this month that the redesign would avoid points, eliminate lofts, and possibly add as many as seven or more additional parking spaces.

Dock Street (file photo)

If vacated, half of Dock Street would go to each respective property owner, however, the remaining half would have to be wide enough for vehicles to pass, said Pelissier. The agency must review the new design of units as well as the site plan proposed, he added, and both the police and fire departments would be asked to comment as to the flow of emergency traffic. If agreed, the agency would recommend appropriate action by City Council which would have to introduce and then approve an ordinance.

Project Manager Henry Szwed of Capodagli Property Company told the Redevelopment Agency in February that they planned to remove the old foundation and soil. Lafayette Village had been delayed to a water front development permit from the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), he said. By state regulation, a view of the river is required at 60 feet; essentially standing from Main Street, one must be able to see the river.

Some modifications to the plan were in the works to address the issue, such as shifting a parapet to allow for a view to the left of the entrance, he said, but it should not change the designs much physically.

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