The work is beginning on the Pine real estate parcel that transformed into the People’s Parking Lot over the last few years as the land sat empty and the developers waited out weak economic conditions. Those economic conditions are shifting, the construction trailer is in place, after four years of waiting, the Pine and Belmont project is underway. Here’s what they’re going to build.
The description processed back in 2007 by the Department of Planning and Development describes yet another six-story, mixed-use apartment building with below ground parking:
Land Use Application to allow a six story, 108 unit apartment building with 12,602 sq. ft. of ground floor retail. Parking for 108 vehicles will be located in below grade garage. Review includes demolition of existing structures. Project includes 17,784 cu. yds. of grading.
It was one of the first in the wave of similar plans to hit the Hill and the backlash was enormous. You can read about how the project fell off the tracks in the middle of the financial meltdown and a legal assault from neighborhood activist Dennis Saxman in this Stranger article: How a Crusade to Save the Pike-Pine Neighborhood Is Turning an Active Block Into a Gravel Lot—For at Least a Year. Buildings housing bars Cha Cha, Manray and the Kincora and retailer Winner’s Circle were razed to make way for the planned development. And then nothing happened. Except for an urban planning enthusiast turning the lot into a community activation experiment. A garage sale or two. And other various shenanigans. Then there were rumors. And then, activity.
According to a representative from Eastside developer Murray Franklyn, while we’ve seen other developers dusting off old projects and making changes like shifting from steel-frame to wood-frame construction or cutting parking to cut costs, the company isn’t planning any changes from its early plans for Pine and Belmont mixed-use building.
The rep also sent us these artist renderings to share. It’s the only time we’re aware of that they’ve been published as the original project went through the design process before it was standard procedure to put all the material on the Web.
According to CHS commenter Seajake, the building is planned to be completed in mid-2012:
As a neighbor of the People’s Parking lot, we were told that the construction is to begin on or around 1/31, beginning in the NE corner of the lot and moving clockwise. We were also told that the construction is likely to take 18 months. Let the good times roll!
Below, we’ve embedded the project approval document from DPD that captures much of the details — and the criticism of the project leveled by community members and even members of the design board at the time. Now, four years on, they’re finally going to build it.