Making way for a four-story building?
  • Making way for a four-story building?

Richmond neighborhood residents are peeved. Not only is a four-story, 82-unit apartment/retail building slated to pop up in the heart of their mostly two-story 'hood, they complain, but the developers have no plan to create a neighboring parking lot. And that means nearby streets will be responsible for an expected 40+ vehicles belonging to building residents.

The response from the developers (Urban Development Group, LLC), in their planning proposal (PDF): We want bicyclists and bus riders. "The proposed development is primarily residential with a target market of alternative transport users... The primary access and use will be through mass transit and alternative means."

"This is a prime example of money taking priority over neighborhood comfort," says Susan Levine, a member of the neighborhood association.

While the city has already approved the zoning of the 37th and SE Division building, the Richmond folks have taken matters into their own hands. On Monday, the association will meet with the developers to try to negotiate a change of plans. Developer David Mullens says he won't share his insight on the parking issue until the meeting itself.

"I think they'll be unprepared for the turnout," says Levine, who has been hitting the streets with neighbors to get the word out.

Levine says it'll be an uphill battle to actually persuade Urban Development Group to actually build an adjoining parking lot. But, she's confident that they can come to a happy medium. Instead of the 82 units, the association will urge the developers to cut back to about 40—meaning fewer cars.

"We're not against development," says Levine. "We just want to have a say in it!"