Graduate Hospital

Bad news for a great Washington Avenue project

Oh how our hearts weep for the project at 1601 Washington. For those who are unfamiliar, 1601 Washington Ave. is currently a vacant lot that sits in front of the Big 8 Supermarket. Last year, developers came forward with a plan to build a five story building on the lot with thirty-five apartments and a large corner commercial space. The project went through the ringer, with a zoning hearing that lasted over three hours (we were there), and considerable hand wringing before the Planning Commission offered their support. But finally, last February, the project got approval from the ZBA and seemed like it was on the path to construction.

At least make 'em an offer

In recent years, South Street West has experienced a major rebirth. New businesses have appeared, as if out of thin air. And vacant lots have disappeared, with mixed-use buildings bringing new commercial spaces and potential customers to the corridor. Even the Royal Theater, South Street West's long vacant jewel, could soon come back to life in dramatic fashion. But the corridor still has some more growing to do and some remaining kinks to work out. 1412 South St. is one such kink, a building that's been obviously vacant for as long as we can remember.

Long vacant property

On one side of the building is a surface parking lot that will surely get redeveloped (at the expense of a sweet mural) at some point in the future. On its other side is a pizza joint, New Tower Pizzeria. Remember, last winter we told you that Govinda's was opening a vegan pizza shop next door to New Tower (to the east), but we haven't seen or heard anything about it since. But we digress. Please note that the vacant building in the photo above has a sale sign on it!

Project comes before community, gets support

The next big thing on Washington Avenue took a step forward last night, as developers presented plans for 2401 Washington Ave. to the SOSNA Zoning Committee. You may recall, last month we told you about their "information only" presentation to the group for a five-story project with 113 apartments in a building designed by Harman Deutsch. If you remember that story, you also surely know that the property is currently a vacant lot. Hopefully, it won't remain so for long.

Current view

At last night's meeting, representatives from the developer presented slightly revised plans and showed some renderings with additional details. The notable change to the project is the extension of the commercial space to the west at the expense of some of the project's parking spaces. A good trade-off in our estimation, though we'd have liked to see the commercial space anchor the corner instead of the middle of the block.

Looks like it'll be a nice reuse

We've actually been meaning to tell you about this one for months, but it has repeatedly slipped our mind. Dodging a forklift on Washington Avenue last week, we found ourselves on the 1000 block of S. Colorado St., and as soon as we got there we remembered attending a SOSNA Zoning Committee meeting over the summer and hearing about a cool project to add a couple of stories onto an existing garage at 1030 S. Colorado St.

Current view

The view on the block today is uninspired, but the additional two stories, designed by Abitare Design Studio, will give the property an impressive new look. Once they're finished, the building will still have three parking spots downstairs, and four 1-bedroom apartments above. A shared roof deck will make the property even more desirable for renters.

Project rendering, a little washed out

As we mentioned, this building is just a few steps away from Washington Avenue, and any new residential near this corridor warms our hearts. The fact that the developers are able to retain the existing building and stack a couple of floors above is even better. Waste not want not, ya know?

Car place and beauty salon supply shop a step in the wrong direction

Okay, we promise. This is our last post on Washington Avenue for awhile.

We keep telling you about possible game changing projects for the west side of Washington Avenue. Mixed-use buildings are planned for 16th & Washington and 24th & Washington. MSC Retail is touting the possibilities of an entertainment venue at 23rd & Washington. We've even heard rumblings about the northwest corner of Broad & Washington. These plans dovetail with the smaller bits of good news that have actually come to pass, like Kermit's Bake Shoppe, a crossfit gym, and NextFab Studios.

But it's not all peaches and cream for Washington Avenue. One particularly unfortunate item is the storage facility on the horizon for 23rd & Washington. It seems it's definitely coming, but it hasn't happened yet so there's at least some hope it won't. No such luck for two new businesses that have already opened on the 1900 block.

1900 block of Washington Ave.

In the last couple of weeks, an auto shop and a beauty supply store have opened their doors. This is possible, of course, because Washington Avenue is still zoned for industrial uses.