The once controversial (and then abandoned) Pear St condos space is now back on sale.
This third of an acre is zoned M-2 permitting office and hotel as a matter of right and is also approved for a 10-story, 15-unit condominium project under a special use permit. The property boasts stellar views of the downtown skyline and the James River and would make a perfect site for additional high-end apartments or condominiums if the property were to be rezoned to follow the City’s Downtown Plan and Riverfront Plan recommendations for the development of the site. The topography and dimensions of the site are excellent for a multi-story parking structure that would not require a ramp and preliminary architectural studies show that the site can easily accommodate 75 to 80 units with premier views and access to downtown.
If you were around at the time you may remember that many residents argued that a then proposed 15-story building violated the Downtown Master Plan and Riverfront Plan which states that buildings next to the James River should be no more than 5 stories tall.
Head of city Planning Mark Olinger said that the parcel for Pear Street appears on some maps of the Master Plan and not on other maps so it is unclear whether or not it falls under auspices of the Downtown Master Plan. Several people then asked if a 15 story building is in the spirit of the Downtown Master Plan and Riverfront plan.