It wasn’t even a month ago that the City posted the CDR packet for 419 Bainbridge St. online and we finally got some insight into what’s in store for this sizable and well located property. To review, the developers are planning a six-story building with a Target on the first floor, a parking lot on floors 2-4, and 48 apartments on floors 5-6. We expressed some disappointment with the plan, as we had previously expected parking spaces in the basement and purely residential uses on the upper floors of the building. Our original conception of the project felt like a great opportunity to maintain a longtime use for the property (a parking lot) while elevating it to a higher and better use. A parking garage with apartments above somehow doesn’t provide the same warm and fuzzies.
Since our post, QVNA and SSHD hosted a community meeting at which neighbors had the chance to voice their opinions on the project. We weren’t able to attend the meeting, unfortunately, but we have to think that some of the feedback from the community will be taken into account as the project moves forward through the process. It was scheduled to go to the ZBA last week but got continued, so we have to think that changes are still being implemented. Assuming the project comes back to CDR next month, we’ll hopefully have some updated info and drawings in the near future.
In the meantime, the developers are proceeding under the assumption that they’ll get the approvals they seek. Over the last few weeks, the buildings that previously stood on the north side of the 400 block of Bainbridge have gotten demolished. The northeast corner is already demoed and cleared, and there’s a big pile of rubble at the corner of Orianna & Bainbridge.
Fun fact, that’s not the only project ongoing at this intersection. The northwest corner has been under construction for so long, you can be forgiven for forgetting that something is happening there. Years ago, John C. Paul & Son restaurant supply made its home in the somewhat crumbling structure at this corner. Back in 2013, the owners of Atrium Design bought the property and others nearby, and came up with a plan to convert them into a 29-room boutique hotel. Doing some quick mental math, that was five years ago. The project has moved in fits and starts, and we were hopeful, two years ago, that the project would finally get wrapped up. Didn’t happen, though.
For awhile, we didn’t see any work happening here whatsoever. Over the last few months, we’ve seen some progress, and now we’re hopeful that the hotel is finally back on track. We’re cautiously optimistic that things will finally wrap up here, but given the history of the project it wouldn’t be a shock if it continued to drag along. Does anyone that lives nearby have any insight into why it’s taken so long for this thing to get done? Anyone want to place a wager on whether the hotel or the Target will open first?