Friday, May 15, 2015

Progress on the Westside: Apartments at Park and Franklin Proposed

The 520 Park Avenue project was a gamble. Would the area be perceived as part of Mt Vernon or as part of the ailing Westside? Would the re-purposing of the bland former Hochschild Kahn industrial building be able to generate the sought after loft style design for apartments? Time Group Development and its director Dominic Wiker moved forward with Marks Thomas as the architect and the answer was resounding.
520 Park Courtyard with former column as
a sculpture (photo: ArchPlan)

The building is not only 100% leased now and construction of a market style retail component on the ground floor underway, the developers even decided to embark on another project right next door on the vacant lot used for parking that sits very visibly at the corner of Park Avenue and Franklin Street.
the proposed corner development at Park and Franklin
looking south on Park Avenue towards Franklin Street

With retail at this corner and another 150 apartments the area just west of the famous Basilika of the Assumption and the Pratt Library will get a big facelift which should help to get developers interested in the area immediately to the south across Franklin Street, one of the most dilapidated blocks on the downtown Westside. BDC just recently chose Murphy Dittenhafer's design concept  to solicit developer proposals for that block.
The Murphy Dittenhafer proposal seen from the northeast (Franklin Street
in the front)

Meanwhile, Ted Rouse's theater proposal is in the stage of a land disposition agreement for the 400 block of North Howard Street (just west of the block mentioned above),
412 N. Howard Street to be converted
into a theater incubator by Ted Rouse
Peter Fillat will build on Liberty and Clay Streets
Liberty and Clay Street development. Design: Fillat Architects
and BDC and the City Market Board are pouring over the Lexington Market report to identify a course of action for the renovation of the market to name just a few Westside activities. The BBJ reports that the market will issue a request for proposals from architects and engineers on 5/18/15. Apparently BDC and the Market Board concluded that a full overhaul and re-build would be the best course of action.

Klaus Philipsen, FAIA

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