When news broke that HBE Corp's Fred Kummer was planning a $270 Million project for the site bounded by Central, Maryland, Bemiston and an Alley in Downtown Clayton, many began to question how the project will look and if buildings will be saved or demolished. Last week, news broke that Fred Kummer eliminated the hotel portion of the project and instead would focus on the condominium tower and a small retail building along Central Avenue. Now, we get our first look at the $170 Million project.
Situated at the corner of Maryland and Bemiston will be a 21-story residential tower with 110 condos. The building itself will be primarily brick with some stone accenting. Balconies will also be present. Other design elements include a simple entrance on Bemiston and a concrete Fleur De-Lis on the roof line, which is 234FT above streetlevel. Parking will be in a 3-story underground parking garage with one level being above ground. The total number of parking spaces in the garage will be 250.
Missing from the residential tower is retail space. The lack retail along Bemiston creates a dead zone for pedestrians as a majority of the wall will be stone. However, HBE intends to build a new retail building along Central Avenue. The design of that is conceptual and during the period of construction, the site will be utilized for construction equipment. Currently, the site bordering Central Avenue is home to businesses such as Vincent Van Doughnut, J.P. Fields, Nami Ramen and others.
The main tower will sit on the site currently occupied by Imo's Pizza and the Shanley Building, which Preservationists hope to save.
The main tower, which is designed by the Lawrence Group, is also conceptual and could change as time goes on. The crazy layout of the windows, uneven balcony locations and dead street level go against the Clayton Entertainment District plans.
Construction will begin early next year. No contractor has been named yet. The approval process is expected to be somewhat easy as Fred Kummer intends to build the building with no incentives and utilizing private dollars. Other members of the development team include Steve Smith of the Lawrence Group and Stafford Manion of Manion Realty.
Overall, the building brings a very underwhelming design for the price. But because it is conceptual, I would hope the design changes before the groundbreaking.
The Clayton Architectural Review Board will review the design at it's May 20th meeting.
Below is a side view of the building showing the parking stricture and condos per floor.