Tuesday, July 10, 2012
Parking Stymies Apartment Switch At Algonquin Riverside Plaza
Breugelmans told P&Z commissioners his 9-month, $250,000 effort to sell Riverside Square condominiums was "a total failure" yielding only four offers and those contingent on buyers' being able to sell their existing homes. Breugelmans said the only way he could get financing to finish Riverside Square was to turn it into apartments but more of those than the condo plan had called for. He said that even though his new plan would add 15 more units there'd only be 10 more residents.
Community Director Russ Farnum, listing 14 staff-recommended conditions for the change, foreshadowed the argument to come saying that he'd only that day learned that Riverside Plaza had lost 8 of the 116 inside parking spaces it was supposed to have due to installation of a sump pump.
Breugelmans, said he'd made an agreement with Ed Wolowiec, owner of Port Edwards restaurant across N. Harrison St., for 40 parking spaces on his building's Algonquin Road frontage. "We have a verbal understanding," he said, which Wolowiec later confirmed.
Commissioner Pat Szpekowski said she still wasn't sure that was enough. "I remember six years ago I was uncomfortable with the parking," she said. "I'm just as uncomfortable now."
"I think it's basically going to come down to parking," agreed Commissioner Dick Hoeferle. "You've made a step in the right direction to go outside the building for parking," he added.
Even adding in the 40 new spaces assumed at Port Ed's, however, commissioners were doubtful there was enough space in Downtown Algonquin for all the parking Riverside Plaza apartments would require. Chairman Jim Patrician summed up the problem. "We need to get people into the building," he said, but added, "We need information specifically on the parking situation."
In the pic: (Above) Developer John Breugelmans told the Algonquin Planning and Zoning Commission turning Riverside Plaza into apartments is the only way he can get the money to finish the project. (Below) Opponent Trish Kannon-Lloyd told the developer there were already too many apartments in the area and called his plan "A black eye waiting to happen".