Proposed 13-story apartment building on 48th and Spruce attracts community criticism

May 12, 2022

A meeting on the proposed 13-story, 170-unit apartment building project on the 4700 block of Spruce took place yesterday on Zoom. Hosted by the Garden Community Association Zoning Committee, the meeting was consultative and included the developers’ (Spruce Street Development) building attorney and architect. Residents could make non-binding suggestions on the project, which will likely begin construction in the fall.

Here are some key points from the meeting:

• Demolition of the existing one-story commercial structures on the block to make way for the new building is not expected to begin until at least the end of the summer, subject to approval by the City’s Civic Design Review Board. the city. Some neighbors have expressed concerns about possible air and soil pollution as a result of demonstration work at the adjacent community garden project.

• The building will include large commercial spaces, including a two-storey space with an escalator. The commercial tenants of the space are not yet known. Some neighbors have expressed concern that building owners may struggle to find tenants for commercial spaces due to what they observed in the Garden Court building on 47th and Pine, which still has several vacant commercial premises.

• Other concerns were that there were too few parking spaces offered (the current plan includes 28 vehicle parking spaces, accessible via Spruce Street, and 76 bicycle parking spaces) and potential traffic congestion on 48th Street. The construction proposal includes an off-street loading dock accessible via 48th Street.

• Nearby residents also discussed the building’s height and design, with one neighbor saying it ‘doesn’t fit into Garden Court’ because it ‘looks nothing like other buildings in the neighborhood’.

• Lack of affordable housing in the proposed building was another concern. The new apartments, mainly one-bedroom apartments and studios, will be offered at market rates. The developer opted to contribute $1.8 million to the Housing Trust Fund to receive the mixed-income housing bonus of more height and floor space instead of providing affordable housing.