Remediation work begins on Main & Monroe site

Soil remediation began last week on a downtown site where a five-story, two-building, apartment complex is planned.

City Engineer Jacqueline Dirmann briefed the Redevelopment Agency during its monthly, public meeting on Wednesday night at City Hall. Ideally, the remediation work will roll into foundation work in the spring, she told commissioners.

Main and Monroe view from Monroe cornerThe 208-unit Main & Monroe development is a two-phase project, each will take about 12 to 18 months long, beginning with the south building, according to City Administrator Cherron Rountree, who also serves as deputy executive director of the Redevelopment Agency. The south building is the larger of the two at 116 units and farther south along Main Street, next to the former Greek American Deli. The final project will complete the extension of Monroe Street across Main Street to meet East Cherry Street. There’s been some coordination with The Gramercy project on East Cherry Street as it also occupies part of Lot B and recently has overtaken the entrance to the lot from East Cherry Street, next to The Waiting Room.

Dirmann said 2018 could be a busy year, between Main and Monroe possibly breaking ground but also the projected slated for the Center Circle site recently filing permits. Meanwhile, two developments that began construction about a year ago — artist housing The Willows on Central Avenue and The Gramercy on East Cherry Street — could be completed by spring or summer, she said.

It’s been nearly three years since Slokker Real Estate Group first received approval from the Planning Board in March 2015 for the five-story, twin-building project.

Main and Monroe front elevation pic
Main & Monroe

In addition to the 208 rental apartments, the project plans to have four separate ground-floor retail spaces totaling more than 5,000 square feet. Residential units would be spread across four floors on the top two levels of parking in one building, which would total 198 spaces. A new Parking Authority-operated lot would be built behind the two buildings.

The development had been slowed somewhat after an objection was filed by owners of the Luciano’s Ristorante property across the street. When that project was constructed some 11 years ago, there was to be an agreement in place over parking spaces at the corner of Main and Poplar streets that have been used by the restaurant in anticipation of development.