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East End News

The Lofty aiming for mid-May

I caught up with Jon Ondrak of Fulton Hill Properties last week for a quick update on The Lofty, the apartment development currently under construction at the east ends of Broad and Marshall Streets.

After years of back and forth, the project is well-underway with a target completion date of around mid-May.

The 33-apartment development is considered a complementary project to the Lava Lofts building. The unit pricing will be similar to that earlier Fulton Hill Properties project, says Ondrak, with rates around $1,200 a month for standard units and up to $1,500 a month for larger units with private balconies.

The units are 75% larger than Lava Lofts, with an average size of 880 square feet. About 2/3 of the units will be two bedrooms, with the rest being one bedroom apartments.

The pet-friendly project includes a community room & gym, dog washing room, a bicycle repair station and bike racks, and all utilities except electricity are included in the rent. In addition, there are tentative plans to put a community garden on the bluff behind the apartments.

Each unit will come with one parking spot, with parking provided in the interior of the block. Access to the parking will be alongside the buildings from Marshall and Broad Streets.

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Mary Louise Munden
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Mary Louise Munden liked this on Facebook.

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Courtney Belden Marsh
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Eric S. Huffstutler
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Eric S. Huffstutler

I am fine with the lower part of the design but the upper part – is too modern as is the side flanks. Has hints of the old Johannas monstrosities. Was this approved by the CAR as well as the locals to “fit in”?

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Church Hillian
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Church Hillian

So what happened with the house to right of the complex, in the first picture at the top of the page?

Meghon Ross
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Megan McCalla
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GARRY
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GARRY

#2 answer=They tore that house down.

Mars
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Mars

Thanks for the update. I wish they had a few more drawings. It looks really tall from downhill and definitely changes the character of the area. I can’t say if that’s good or bad yet. I’m still not quite sure what makes the view so fantastic since they seem to be looking into a small valley. There’s no way this design got CAR approval. I know it didn’t the first time, but you would think some sort of review would have been necessary once they redesigned it as pictured above. Is the building that’s up now the one on the… Read more »

Frank Watkins
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Frank Watkins

In 1983 I moved to the 3600 block of E. Broad…….
Lived there for 3 years……….Back on 31st now……..If I’d only waited another 28 years I too could live in a………………..i dunno what to call it.

Church hillian
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Church hillian

@eric

Looking at the CAR Chimborazo boundaries it looks like this project is within the drawn/outlined boundaries- but in the description it says 32-36 st, Marshall to Chimborazo, which this is east of 36th street. Maybe they didn’t have to answer to CAR?

Clay Street
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Clay Street

I used to live on this block a million years ago, and I’ve been following the various dramas of this project with interest over the past ten years, never understanding how they were going to cram all of this into the designated parcel. Still does’t make sense, and parking is still going to be a total bitch there. I remember seeing on one of these threads fairly recently (a couple of months ago maybe) a photo of the house after the clearing the land had taken place with the siding and everything removed–did it actually get demolished? I thought that… Read more »

Gordo
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Gordo

Multiple conflicting sketches were submitted to CAR. WHen CAR asked for clarification, the developer appealed over them and went straight to the city council for approval (Maggie Fruend has a history of skipping over the rules).

Anyway, this breach of normal protocal lead to numerous lawsuits to prevent the development. Maggie Fruend eventually won. But the plans really have not been reviewed by anyone.

CT
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CT

I was skeptical about this project a few years back, but have changed my mind after seeing how well Lava Lofts has integrated into the area and the positive changes that have followed.

Church Hillian
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Church Hillian

How did she win if the plans were not reviewed by anyone?

Rumor has it that they didnt want the house to the right there, and didnt want to have to restore it (it actually looks pretty out of place in the drawing above next to the new structure), so they let some locals know it was free game and they had it torn down in about a week…. Then what can CAR really do about that? Its a win win for the Lofty and local scrappers.

Mars
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Mars

CT, Lava Lofts was an existing building. This is a new and largely out of scale building with many modern fixtures in a historic area. I’m really hoping I don’t end up with something that has metal siding like this looming down at me from above: http://epmgaa.media.lionheartdms.com/img/photos/2014/10/23/Shockoe_View_Apts_1_t750x550.jpg?626c74b6d570df44fd02ecca30244159e005ff34

John Vetrovec
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John Vetrovec

I’ve stated this before. My house backs up to the Lava Lofts. I was no fan of Margaret Freund, and fought her tooth and nail on the density of LL. She won, I lost, but now, several years later, everything she told me would happen with the property has been so.

I’ve had only positives come out of Lava Lofts being a neighbor. I realize that she no longer owns it, but it is still a great property. All that to say that I think this new development will come through better than some seem to hope.

Eric S. Huffstutler
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Eric S. Huffstutler

Then this Maggie Fruend needs to be educated about how historic areas have rules and guidelines for a reason. The woman has no business representing a historic area if she doesn’t appreciate it. CT – Lava Lofts from what I can see only renovated interiors and doesn’t have intrusive architecture. Much like those horrid buildings at 21st and Broad that stand out like a sore thumb and does not blend in. These new apartments do extend higher than the surrounding ones (height is supposed to match) and again, the modern rooftop whatever it is doesn’t mesh with the surrounding architecture… Read more »

Eric S. Huffstutler
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Eric S. Huffstutler

Mars, I am hoping that was a short lived phase when Dave Johannas was on the CAR board. He was someone who was vocal about his disregard for historically accurate or correct infills and pushed for his designs hence buildings that was a mash of old and new that stuck out.

Progress
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Progress

I think she appealed the CAR decision and went to City Council, who overruled the CAR decision. If you want to educate someone it needs to be City Council because almost anytime someone appeals a CAR decision the Council overrules the CAR. Council is not supportive of the CAR and their importance in maintaining historic character of neighborhoods

vanyali
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vanyali

Does it really matter that the top story is more modern when the first two are traditional? You see the top story clearly in sketches but when you are actually walking around on the street level, most of what you will actually see will be just the first two stories, especially with that horizontal bit of cornice jutting out below the top story; that thing will obscure the view of the top story evrn more from the street level, don’t you think?

Eric S. Huffstutler
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Eric S. Huffstutler

Progress, lets do it! But seriously, a few years ago a bunch of us from all walks of life and different expertise started a grass roots campaign to try and educate city council, namely Cynthia Newbille. She came, listened, took notes, promised to follow up, then blew us off never to contact anyone afterwards. I think that spoke volumes about her concern towards historical properties and preservation. vanyali, yes… it does matter and if you look at the published CAR book it clearly states that the height has to match the surrounding buildings and that the overall design must blend… Read more »

Whatever
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Whatever

This looks great to me. All you cranks looking for something to hate about this, I can only imagine what kind of historic Williamsburg fake neighborhood CH would be in your hands. So tired of the complaining about shit.

Church Hillian
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Church Hillian

This is also why a lot of people have NO RESPECT for CAR and the historical process of preservation. Why should someone have to justify and submit for a lengthy approval of their new windows, new fence or handrail, when organizations like the Fulton Hill Properties can do as they choose? It just shows the true color of politics and what really matters, the $. You can be historically incorrect in a historical area as long as you have the $ and influence. With one exception… You try to build a huge skyscraper right in front of Libbie hill where… Read more »

tony lynch
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tony lynch

this is gonna be a joke for my block (200 north 36th) and the little parking we already have.

Eric S. Huffstutler
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Eric S. Huffstutler

whatever… we have been down this road before so all I am going to say is… if you don’t appreciate the historic neighborhood you chose to move to, then move out with the West End yuppies and their cheaply made suburbia houses. If it is what is right then yes, Church Hill should be preserved like Williamsburg. Our neighborhood is on historical registries and “supposed” to be protected by the city rules put in place on a National level for a purpose. Otherwise we would have nothing left of our neighborhood with people thinking like you. Living in Church Hill… Read more »

Michael Jones
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@Church Hillian: Bingo! Way of the world.

ann
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ann

#15, Progress, has it to rights. Whatever the outcome, liked or disliked, this project is Council-approved, not CAR approved.

Gordo
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Gordo

If I remember correctly, CAR didnt reject this for asthetic reasons, they just kept continuing it because the paperwork submitted was never completed. Maggie Fruend refused to actually submit proper plans to CAR or even to Council…

This is the part that really irks me, the developer’s pattern of refusing to follow the rules and processes that others in the community have to live by. While her outcomes may be good (so far) she should not be above the law.

Lee
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Lee

I don’t particularly like or dislike the look of these buildings/this particular project. But for those accusing Mrs. Fruend of breaking or dodging the rules: It sounds like an appeal to city council is permitted, and city council has final authority. Having council reverse the CAR’s decision is perfectly within the rules. The developer didn’t break any rules. The rules were already broken before she got there. If any real change is going to happen, people need to stop griping about how she worked within the constraints of the architectural review process and start lobbying city council to fix the… Read more »

Prairie girl
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Prairie girl

No one should be able to build without providing ample parking! Most units would probably need two parking spots and guest parking. There is already no space to park. Totally inconsiderate.

K
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K

I agree with those who say CAR doesn’t deserve to be blamed, when it’s easy enough to bypass CAR and go directly to the council.

I’d put the blame where it properly belongs: A city (both government and citizens) that brags about its history, but gives bare lip service to preservation when faced by savvy developers who hypnotize all with promises of future tax revenues (or future campaign contributions, but that’s another story).

CAR sort of works when there are developers who want to avoid unpleasant press stories. Otherwise, it has no real power. That’s the reality.

Lee
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Lee

@Prairie Girl – would you have thr entire city converted into one giant parking deck? It’s costly, it’s ugly, and it works against the goal of having enough density that people can bike and walk. 2 + parking spaces per house or apartment is utterly unnecessary if not ridiculous