Grand Rapids
Michigan

Planning Staff Report
Recommended to City Commission
Jul 14, 2016 12:00 PM

(1:40 p.m.) Stocking/Bridge/Seward PRD

Information

Department:Planning StaffSponsors:
Category:Public Hearing

Content A

Address:

420 & 430 Stocking Avenue NW; 601, 603, 605, 613 & 617 Bridge Street NW; 415, 419 & 421 Seward Avenue NW; 414, 420, 424, 428, 431, 436 & 437 Lexington Avenue NW; 614 First Street NW; and the vacated portion of Lexington Avenue NW

Applicant:

Bridge & Stocking LLC

(Kurt Hassberger)

Requesting:

Conceptual approval of a new multi-building, mixed-use, Planned Redevelopment District. 

 

Final Site Plan Review of the first phase of development, fronting on Stocking and Lexington and consisting of a five-story building with ground floor commercial and residential above, is requested. 

Zoning:

TN-TBA (Traditional Neighborhood-Traditional Business Area)

TN-TCC (Traditional Neighborhood-Transitional City Center)

Requirements:

5.7.06.              Special District--Planned Redevelopment Districts

 

5.12.08.              Site Plan Review

5.12.14.              Planned Redevelopment District

Case Number:

PC-ZON-2016-0074

Staff Assigned:

Elizabeth Zeller

Type of Case:

Rezoning to Planned Redevelopment District

Effective Date:

City Commission approval

 

Content C

 

Overview

·         The applicant is seeking to rezone 18 parcels and the vacated Lexington Avenue right-of-way from TN-TBA and TN-TCC to a Planned Redevelopment District to facilitate a mixed-use development consisting of residential, office and commercial/retail space. 

·         All existing buildings on the properties will be demolished. 

·         The project will consist of three mixed-use buildings and an interior parking deck. 

·         Final site plan review is requested for Building A (fronting Stocking). 

·         Conceptual approval is requested for the remainder of the project, with each phase/building returning to the Planning Commission for final site plan review approval. 

 

Surrounding Zoning and Land Uses

North:              TN – TCC              outside storage, Rockford Construction headquarters building

East:              TN – TCC              restaurant

South:              TN – TBA               two-story mixed-use

West:              TN – LDR              mixed-use

 

Master Plan

The Westside Area Specific Plan, adopted May 12, 2015, includes these properties. 

 

The Future Land Use Map designates these properties as “Village Center.”  An excerpt from the ASP is below:

 

“Definition: Village Centers serve several neighborhoods and are located on a proposed express and/ or high frequency service transit route.

 

The City Master Plan did not recommend a Village Center on the West Side in the future land use plan. This area specific plan recommends that the Neighborhood Center on Bridge Street and Stocking Avenue be changed to Village Center, and widened or ‘stretched’ to encompass the entire block area from Stocking to Seward Avenue; and allow density to continue eastward to US-131.

 

This entire location is key to Bridge Street’s success as a transit oriented location. As a former streetcar route, development once existed which was sufficiently dense and mixed to sustain a vibrant and lively district. Reviving the district will depend on sufficient residential density to satisfy the popular universities and local employers who are looking to attract energetic new residents who want compact mixed-use living. Transit lines that can eventually serve Bridge Street, will rely on a transit-oriented development land use to be in place.

 

The building height in the Village Center should be limited to 4 stories, unless the design incorporates features that step the upper floors back or otherwise convey a scale that is proportionate to and compatible with the surroundings, as determined by the City. In any case, the building height should not interfere with nor obstruct views of the iconic St. Mary’s Church steeple located on 1st Street.”

 

Planned Redevelopment District (SD-PRD)--Purpose and Intent

·         PRD’s may be appropriate when necessary or desirable to deviate from the standards in another Zone District to ensure that desirable and compatible development occurs.  These flexible development standards may address special conditions with regard to setbacks, yards, building height and special traffic, or landscaping issues.

·         The PRD process is intended to encourage innovative land planning and design by:

1.      Recognizing greater flexibility in zoning standards for larger and multi-lot sites;

2.      Encouraging a mix of land uses;

3.      Encouraging a sensitive design that respects the neighborhood character as well as natural or man-made features of the site and surrounding area; and

4.      Promoting quality design and environmentally sensitive development.

 

CONCEPTUAL OVERVIEW

Project Summary

Building A

·         Five stories, +/- 69’ in height.

·         Ground floor retail/commercial will face Stocking.

·         Four floors of residential above (64 dwelling units), with entrance on First Street.

·         102 parking spaces to be provided in new surface parking lot at 640-642 Second Street.

 

Building B

·         Five stories, +/- 66’-74’ in height.

·         Ground floor retail/commercial, including a grocery store of greater than 15,000 sq. ft.

·         Upper levels office/residential.

·         Building steps back 10-12’ at the second floor on Bridge Street (as recommended by the Westside Plan).

·         Parking to be provided in interior parking deck intended to accommodate approximately 308 vehicles.

 

Building C

·         Four stories, +/- 44’-50’ in height.

·         Professional offices, including on the ground floor

·         Parking to be provided in interior parking deck intended to accommodate approximately 308 vehicles.

 

Uses

·         Uses include residential, office (at the ground floor and above), and commercial uses.

·         Other than a proposed grocery store (with alcohol sales, possibly 24-hour use), none of the other ground floor commercial uses have been identified to date.

·         Uses shall otherwise be subject to the PRD Use Table 5.7.06.C.

 

Density

·         Including the adjacent right-of-way to the centerline, the property is 196,690 sq. ft. / 4.52 acres in area. 

·         The project will follow the TN-TBA/TN-TCC density standard of 750 sq. ft. per unit (58 dwelling units per acre). 

·         Density, including any available density bonuses, will be evaluated during site plan review for each phase as the project progresses. 

·         The Master Plan considers the proposed density to be High Density (15 units or more per acre).

·         The Westside ASP designates this area as a Village Center, where higher density housing is appropriate.

 

Site Layout

·         PRD regulations require front, rear and side setbacks to be a minimum of twenty (20) feet from any property line, however, the Planning Commission may waive the required setback to five (5) feet where appropriate. 

·         According to the conceptual plan, all buildings will be at least 5’ from all lot lines.

·         The setbacks are intended to be consistent with the Required Building Line of the TN-TBA zone district, which is 12’ from back of curb where parking is provided.

 

Other Site Elements

·         The conceptual plan indicates that the overall project will meet or exceed greenspace (15% of lot area) and urban open space (5%) requirements. 

 

Building Elements

Height

·         New buildings in PRD’s shall generally respect existing building heights within the area in which they are constructed.  No building shall exceed fifty five (55) feet in height, or four (4) stories, whichever is lower.  The Planning Commission may allow greater heights when the SD-PRD district is adjacent to a zone district which allows a greater height or where the nature of the use warrants a higher building. 

·         The Westside Area Specific Plan recommends limiting height in the Village Center to 4 stories, unless the design incorporates features that step the upper floors back or otherwise convey a scale that is proportionate to and compatible with the surroundings, as determined by the City. Building height should not interfere with nor obstruct views of the iconic St. Mary’s Church steeple located on 1st Street.

·         Building A and Building B are proposed to be greater than 55’ in height.

·         The Planning Commission should consider existing and desired development patterns, surrounding development, the adjacent TN-TBA and TN-TCC zone districts, and the Area Specific Plan recommendations. 

 

Materials

·         In PRD’s, all walls exposed to public view from the street shall be constructed of not less than 75% brick, face brick, stone or cast stone.  High quality materials on other exposed exterior surfaces are encouraged. 

·         The application indicates that exterior building material will likely include brick masonry, glass and metal panels and will be applied in a manner consistent with the required building elements of the PRD district. 

 

Other Building Elements

·         Each individual building will be reviewed as submitted for transparency, façade variation, building orientation, entrances and expression lines for consistency with the PRD building elements Table 5.7.06.E.

 

Parking

·         Parking will be provided both on-site and off-site:

o       An off-site, surface parking lot north of First Street will provide 102 parking spaces for the residents of Building A.

o       A multi-level parking deck of +/- 308 spaces will be constructed in the interior of the development and will provide parking for the remaining users.

·         SD-PRD parking requirements are higher than what is typically required in the Traditional Neighborhood zone districts, as it assumes auto-oriented design. In recent consideration of PRD proposals, the Planning Commission has considered the underlying zoning and the zoning of adjacent properties.

·         The applicant intends to provide parking based on TN-TCC requirements. 

·         Below is a comparison of SD-PRD and Traditional Neighborhood requirements. 

 

 

SD-PRD

TN-TBA

TN-TCC

multiple-family residential

1.5 space / unit

(+ .25 space above two bedrooms)

1.25 space / unit

(+ .25 space above two bedrooms)

1.00 space / unit

(+ .25 space above two bedrooms)

office

3.0 spaces per 1,000 sq. ft.

2.5 spaces per 1,000 sq. ft.

2.0 spaces per 1,000 sq. ft.

retail

3.33 spaces per 1,000 sq. ft.

2.5 spaces per 1,000 sq. ft.

1.25 spaces per 1,000 sq. ft.

restaurant

1.25/3 occupants

.75/3 occupants

.5/3 occupants

 

·         The Planning Commission has the discretion to reduce the number of parking spaces required based on alternative transportation and the availability of on-street parking. 

·         On-street parking is available in the vicinity, and the redevelopment of the site will designed to accommodate street parking. 

·         The site is served by mass transit. 

 

Signage

·         Unless otherwise provided in the resolution approving a particular PRD, signs erected in a PRD shall be governed by the rules and requirements of an established Zone District, as assigned by the Planning Commission.

·         The PRD is proposed to be governed by the TN-TBA zone district standards.

·         Any desired changes would be considered by the Planning Commission as a Minor Deviation from the approved plan.

 


FINAL SITE PLAN REVIEW--Building A

Use

·         Ground floor retail/commercial will face Stocking.

·         There will be four floors of residential above with the entrance on First Street.

·         64 dwelling units (including eight three-bedroom units) are proposed. 

·         No specific ground floor uses have been identified at this time. Uses will be subject to the PRD Use Table 5.7.06.C.

 

Site Layout

·         The retail side of the building (Stocking) is set back +/- 13’, with a protected parking lane. 

·         The residential side of the building (First Street) is set back +/-20’. 

·         Both are appropriate and meet the Required Building Line requirements for the proposed uses.

 

Parking

·         102 parking spaces are to be provided in new surface parking lot at 640-642 Second Street.

·         Based on the TN-TBA parking standard, 82 parking spaces are required.

·         If the PRD is approved, the 102 parking spaces in the parking lot north of First Street will be adequate.

 

Height

·         At five stories and +/- 69’ in height, Building A exceeds the 55’/4-story maximum for PRD’s.

·         The Planning Commission should consider existing and desired development patterns, surrounding development, the adjacent TN-TBA and TN-TCC zone districts, and the Area Specific Plan recommendations. 

 

Materials

·         In PRD’s, all walls exposed to public view from the street shall be constructed of not less than 75% brick, face brick, stone or cast stone.  High quality materials on other exposed exterior surfaces are encouraged. 

·         Materials will include brick and either metal or fiber cement panels.

·         The materials percentage has not been calculated at this time.

 

Transparency

·         The Stocking façade appears to meet the 60% transparency requirement.

·         The First Street façade, which is the residential entrance, contains a significant amount of glass.  Transparency may be reduced for residential facades. 

 

Neighborhood Input

·         The applicant presented the project to the West Grand Neighborhood Organization on 6/20/2016. 

·         Two letters of support have been received.

 

Significant Considerations

·         Neighborhood concerns, if identified at the public hearing.

·         Compatibility of proposed design, materials and density with adjacent commercial uses and buildings, and nearby residential uses. 

·         Compatibility of project with the Westside Area Specific Plan.