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20th Ave townhouse project set to rise where six-story development plan was nixed

With plans for a much bigger apartment building falling through, a development to create a set of townhouses on 20th Ave just off E Madison will take its first run through the East Design Review Board Wednesday night.

Wednesday’s session will cover two neighboring development projects from the same developer and architects as the board will handle both sets of rowhouses destined to rise in the 1700 block of 20th Ave with one review:

Design Review: 1711 20th Ave

Each project will create a set of one three-unit, four-story townhouse and a five-unit, three-story counterpart. In total, the trade will be two well-aged early 20th century single family-style homes for sixteen new town… homes. It appears that parking for 16 vehicles is being proposed.

A few years back, it looked like there would be parking for many, many more — and a much larger project on the block. Real estate investors Robert Hardy and Michael Heijer purchased $5.3 million worth of property on 20th Ave with plans for a contract rezone to 65 feet and a new 160-unit apartment building. But last fall they bailed on the plan and sold two of the parcels for $4.2 million to the Flanigan Group. The Keller Williams development group is now carrying the new townhouse plan forward with designs from B9 Architects.

In the “preferred” alignment, “the structures fronting 20th Avenue shift towards the street to provide a generous courtyard at the center of the site,” the architects write.

Wednesday night, the board will consider, among the things highlighted in a city planner’s memo on the project, “the scale and proportion (and character) of the shared exterior spaces, as well as that of the entry ‘portal’ from 20th to the interior units,” as well as the “alley-access solution that staff agree is superior to the original plan to bring cars in via curb cuts from 20th Avenue.”

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