TPZ: Few questions about offices proposed for Blinn’s site
Updated 7:55 pm, Wednesday, September 9, 2015
A medical office building proposed for the downtown site of the former Blinn’s Toy Store faced few questions from the Town Plan and Zoning Commission, and none from the public, as the application was reviewed Tuesday night.
The TPZ public hearing on the application for the property at 55-60 Unquowa Place was closed, but the commission did not vote on the application.
The two lots are the sites, respectively, of the building that housed the store and the adjacent house and garage. The house and garage would be razed under the plan, while the two lots would be combined and the Blinn’s building would be renovated into offices, with a second floor added. The applicants said they anticipate there will be a single tenant for the renovated 10,000-square-foot building.
Architect Jack Franzen said a brick facing would be added to the existing cinder-block building, and the blue wooden structure on the front of the building would be removed. He said the second floor would be smaller, and inset on two sides because of zoning regulations on setbacks.
Trees would be planted on the property, as well, according to the application. “It’ll be a big upgrade as far as trees go,” Franzen said. “I think we have a nice project.”
A traffic study conducted earlier this year indicates that the addition of a medical office building will not affect the street’s nearby intersection with the Post Road.
“This is a pretty straightforward application,” said William Fitzpatrick, the lawyer for the applicants.
TPZ Chairman Matthew Wagner asked if the building’s parking lot could be used by other downtown patrons in the evening when the medical offices are closed. “There’s a lot of congestion with parking” for restaurants in the evening, Wagner said.
Fitzpatrick said it is likely the offices will be open until 9 p.m. during the week, and some hours on the weekend, but added, “I don’t think they’re going to employ the police officer in the parking lot when the building is not in use.”
He also said a medical office in a common use in the downtown area and “clearly compatible” with the downtown’s character. Fitzpatrick said Franzen’s design is “an upgrade in appearance and beauty,” and will enhance neighboring property values.