The Riverside Plan Commission and representatives from the Wexford Development Group will have a special joint meeting with the Landscape Advisory and Preservation commissions on May 12 to discuss future plans for the historic Arcade Building.
A decision to have the special meeting was made after Donald Price of the Wexford Development Group said that it help all parties involved if they could sit down together instead of going back and forth to each meeting. The Wexford Development Group bought the Arcade Building in December for $3.1 million and is hoping to construct a three-story, nine-unit condominium addition onto the east facade of the building at 1 Riverside Road.
“We really can’t start to answer any other questions until we take care of the ordinance issues,” Price said. “A lot of the other questions will be answered once we sit down and figure out a budget, but we can’t do that yet until the ordinance issues are completely dealt with. From a time standpoint, it would be much easier to see all the questions at once instead of making presentations at each meeting every month.”
Price on April 25 displayed an updated, reconfigured development plan to the Plan Commission, and stated that the new layout dealt with questions about additional green areas, a trash enclosure and parking. The retaining wall for the property also will be restored, and the height of the addition will not exceed 38 feet.
“The Preservation Commission had some concerns, but those were before the new diagrams went out,” Riverside Village Manager Kathleen Rush said. “Most of those issues have been dealt with, but this meeting [on May 12] will allow for any other questions to be asked all at once. It is my hope that the developer will be able to present everything to all the parties at the next meeting, and it will save time for everyone.”
The recent drawings show that a portion of the eastern end of the building, which is not part of the original landmark structure, will be demolished to make way for the 12,900-square-foot addition. Three current first-floor tenants?”a financial investment firm, a dry cleaner and a shoe repair shop?”would lose their spaces as a result of the demolition.
The spaces currently housing Grumpy’s Cafe and the Salon Chevrie hair salon appear to be mainly unchanged in the new plan. The proposed demolition plan also calls for the space currently occupied by the Chew Chew Cafe to be opened up to the east along the entire north facade.
The ground floor of the new addition calls for a 958-square-foot commercial space fronting Quincy Street. The rest of the first floor addition will be taken up by an enclosed 15-space parking garage that can be accessed either from Quincy Street or the alley directly east of the property.
The two floors above the parking garage will house a total of nine condos. Drawings of the second floor show three 1-bedroom and two 2-bedroom units, with four more 2-bedroom condos on the third floor.
The facades of the addition will echo the Victorian style of the original 1871 building. A brick ground floor will be topped with a stucco second floor. The third floor is articulated by protruding gabled dormers with rounded-arch windows reminiscent of the window treatments on original building. Two-story square turrets will protrude from the southeast and northeast corners of the facade, lending additional Victorian flavor.
“We’re really at a crossroads right now in the village,” said Karen Layng, chairperson for the Plan Commission. “We encourage and want business in the central district. We don’t want to kill a project, because we’re worry about too many little details. But this is a wonderful building and it is very important to this town.”
Rush also added that it is still too early to speculate when the redevelopment would actually start if all the applications were approved in the coming months.