The building on the northeast corner of 23rd & Christian has had a death sentence floating above it for over a year. The property, which was home to an auto supply shop back in the day, currently houses a small grocery store and offices for the Senior Resource Group, an insurance business. Early last year, the principals of the Senior Resource Group purchased the property with the intention of demolishing the building and replacing it with a five-story mixed-use structure. Plans were for first floor retail space, second floor office space, and seven apartments above. When those plans were presented to the community, a bunch of people were opposed to the height, the lack of parking, and the look of the building, designed by Harman Deutsch.
In response to feedback from the community, the owners altered their plan, removing the fifth story but leaving the interior plans unchanged. When that didn't work for neighbors, the owners changed the plan again, eliminating the office space, increasing the apartment count to eleven, and adding rear setbacks to give the homes on Madison Square some more room to breathe. But still there was opposition, and we kind of thought the project was dead in the water. When we learned that the insurance company had purchased the property across the street and was converting it to office space, we were further convinced that the project on the northeast corner wasn't in the cards.
But a few weeks back we spotted new zoning notices on the building. It seems the owners are giving it another go, changing their plans again. The newest iteration has a retail space on the first floor, eight apartments on the second and third floors, and office space on the top floor. The project went to the ZBA at the end of September, but was continued. No clue when they'll be coming back to try again, but we're heartened to see that they're still trying to redevelop this property, trying yet another permutation to try to settle upon something that works both for them and the near neighbors. What remains to be seen is whether that's a possibility at all.