The consulting group instrumental in helping Riverside rewrite the zoning code for its Central Business District expressed reservations last week about a four-story commercial/residential development proposed to replace the former Henninger Pharmacy in downtown Riverside.
While not strictly part of the village’s approval process, Riverside Village Manager Kathleen Rush requested that Camiros Ltd. complete a site plan review of the project in order to get another perspective on the zoning variations being requested for the Village Center Development.
Les Pollack and Arista Strungys of Camiros presented their review to Rush on March 3. In it, they agreed with the project architect that the plan “generally comports with the character of the architecture in and adjacent to the” Central Business District.
However, they expressed concerns about the scale of the development in relation to neighboring structures and “suggested that further building design studies identify ways to reduce this scale, such as creating the appearance of two separate buildings.”
Furthermore, they state, “the height and bulk of the design can overpower other buildings within the CBD. … A design that better breaks up the massing and the appearance of excessive height should be considered.”
Overall, the Camiros consultants felt the biggest impediment for the project was its height and length along Burlington Street, “which exceeds that of other buildings in the CBD and makes it an imposing structure on the Burlington/Longcommon corner.”
But at Monday night’s meeting of the village board, Architect Robert Kirk pressed his case for the proposed design of the development, which would include commercial space on the ground floor and 20 condominiums on three upper floors.
“I feel that the closer I look at this, the more I feel this is the right project for the site, both in scale, proportion and materials,” Kirk said.
Kirk presented a series of scale drawings to the board, which showed the development as it would appear from different vantage points in the CBD. The drawings, from Kirk’s point of view showed that the development’s “scale and detailing … are in keeping with” other buildings in the CBD.
But village trustees, on the suggestion of Village President Harold J. Wiaduck, tabled the matter until the board’s next meeting on March 21 in order to hash out concerns completely.