Tonight, Koplar Properties and Albion Residential, along with architecture firm Hartshorne Plunkard, hosted a community engagement meeting regarding the proposed Albion West End project at Lindell and Kingshighway. The event was at the Chase Park Plaza.
Over 120 attendees attended the event in the Chase's famed Khorassan Ballroom to hear about the proposal and ask questions. This post is meant to provide notes for those who didn't attend the meeting, and how you can submit your own questions and feedback.
DEVELOPMENT TEAM PRESENTERS
Sam Koplar - Koplar Properties
Andrew Yule - Albion Residential
Paul Allesandro - Hartshorne Plunkard
Moderated by Jim Dwyer, Chair of the Central West End committee.
Overview of the Koplar family history including a mention of how the first generation Koplar, Sam, developed the Chase Park Plaza.
Andrew Yule, of Albion residential, talked about how this site was chosen. Mentioned how his team originally looked at Clayton before landing on this property and felt like it was a perfect fit. Andrew explained that his company are long term holders of investments and build high-quality buildings that are built to last and become an icon for neighborhoods. He went on to mention how the Central West End reminds him of Evanston and Oak Park up near Chicago (which is Albion's home base).
Andrew Yule says the 10,000sf lobby will be open to the public during set business hours. This will allow the neighborhood to have a community living room where people can meet, have a coffee, use the wifi and so on.
Andrew Yule says that public feedback is critical in making this a great addition to the neighborhood. He encourages feedback.
A variance is being sought to allow the building to sit a few feet back from the Kingshighway sidewalk to create the plaza. Current zoning rules require the building be built up to the sidewalk.
Art on the plaza will be mosaic tiles. The plaza will also be activated in more than one way (outdoor seating, a guitarist, and so on).
Bus stop will be rebuilt and slightly relocated.
Paul Allesandro, of Hartshorne Plunkard, explained the design of the buildings and the features it will include. That includes art work at the plaza level on Kingshighway, a retention garden in the rear, and bird-friendly glass.
Concerns were raised over the usage of a tax abatement on the property multiple times.
Neighbors at the St. Regis condos wanted this construction process to be better than what happened at 100 Above the Park (including trying not to close the alley, having set construction times, and clean ups). The St. Regis neighbors also hoped that trash pick up and move-ins/move-outs were better than those at 100 Above the Park.
Traffic study was asked about. Mentioned that there would be a negligible increase on traffic on all nearby roads as a result of this project.
Some members of the public hoped that the plaza would be inviting. The artwork was brought up and a comment was made about how 1% of the project cost should go towards having iconic public artwork.
One question was asked about how this breaks through the infamous "Delmar Divide". The answer given was that as the Central West End gets pricier, development pushes out to the north and south. What's happening at Delmar and Euclid/Walton now by Kevin Bryant's team is testament to that and the future of the Fountain Park neighborhood.
A comment about covering up the mechanical stuff on the roof was made. Developers and architect mentioned that, unlike One Hundred, the mechanical stuff on the roof would be covered up.
A few more miscellaneous things of note that are of interest to readers of this blog, and neighbors in general.
365 parking spaces (some will be public)
154 bike parking spaces
30-story tower that's just slightly shorter than the roofline of 100 Above the Park
Stormwater detention garden will be included on the back of the building
Project should be green building certified
Bike and car share program (to allow residents to leave their cars behind)
400% property tax increase over the current amount
Creation of 450 union construction jobs across the duration of construction (26 months)
$37 Million in minority-owned and woman-owned contract work
Vocational training partnerships will be provided
Local business partnerships to drive revenue for local dining and retail options
A tax abatement will be sought.
For more information of the project, visit this website: 4974 Lindell
The gallery below includes photos from tonight's event.
February 23rd, 2022: Koplar Properties Reveals 30-Story Tower at Lindell and Kingshighway