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New Development Could Bring Public Restrooms-Downtown Traverse City

New Development Could Bring Public Restrooms

April 15, 2014
New Development Could Bring Public Restrooms

A proposed development on Park Street could bring to downtown Traverse City something it’s never had and desperately needs: public restrooms.

Developer Jerry Snowden tells The Ticker he has a plan in the works for an addition to Radio Centre II (125 Park Street). If it moves forward, the building would connect to his Radio Centre building at the corner of E. Front and Park streets and the adjacent Hardy Parking Deck.

The building would also include a pedestrian access to the parking deck and restroom facilities.

The proposal will go before the Downtown Development Authority (DDA) board on April 25, confirms DDA Executive Director Rob Bacigalupi.

Snowden says he has a lease signed for “35 percent of the project,” a retail tenant for the building’s ground floor that he declined to name other than to say it would be a good fit and unique to downtown.

He also stresses that he is still analyzing costs and working with the city to determine if the project will proceed.

“It looks promising but there’s more work to be done,” says Snowden.

Depending on the outcome of the DDA meeting later this month and pending final cost projections, the project could start by late summer.

Snowden says the building’s second floor would be comprised of small office suites, something he says there is a demand for downtown.

“The city and DDA has always envisioned working with Jerry on an extended pedestrian entrance to the parking deck,” says Bacigalupi, and to finally be able to provide public restrooms would resolve a long-standing issue for downtown merchants.

The project has already been granted a variance from the city’s Zoning Board of Appeals to remove the standard five-foot setback requirement from the neighboring building. The setback requirement is in place to allow for trash receptacles and utility meters, but because the parcel doesn’t abut an alley the setback is not necessary, Bacigalupi explains.

Should the project move forward, funding for the restrooms and other infrastructure is already in place. Back in 2002 when the city purchased a bond to finance the Hardy Parking Deck, it also included earmarked funds for future improvements related to the project. In addition to restrooms, that also includes redoing Park Street, which Bacigalupi says would be done after any building project at the site.
 

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