Big changes in store for Arcade Building

? New owners envision nine-unit condo addition, enclosed parking and reconfigured commercial spaces.

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By BOB UPHUES

Just two months after acquiring the Arcade Building for $3.1 million, its new owners have unveiled a plan to expand the historic structure. The Riverside Plan Commission last night considered an application by representatives from Riverside Arcade LLC, to construct a three-story, nine-unit condominium addition onto the eastern facade of the building at 1 Riverside Road.

Drawings submitted to the village 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. Chew Chew Cafe owner Scott Zimmer said he had seen preliminary plans, but added it was too early to discuss future plans for the restaurant.

"Anyone can see that massive changes need to made, and that any changes will be for the better," Zimmer said. "As for the timing [of any changes], those decisions can be made as time goes on."

A call to Donald Price of the Wexford Development Group, which bought the building in late December 2004, was not returned.

Demolition plans also call for the second- and third-floor commercial spaces to be substantially overhauled and the common areas rebuilt entirely.

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.

Plans submitted by the building owners indicate that the addition will not require any zoning variations. The Plan Commission will refer the proposal to the village's Preservation and Landscape Advisory commissions, which will have 30 days to have a meeting and provide comments.

Those comments will be sent back to the Plan Commission, which will have the ability to approve, deny or suggest modificaytions to the plan. Since the plan does not appear to need any zoning variations, the village board will not vote on it.

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