By Carol McCracken
Ron Gan, representing 202 Washington Avenue, requested a meeting with the planners to solicit their comments prior to his investing in the design and engineering for the project. He described the building as a 4 -unit development which would require the destruction of a single-family home and garage on the site. All four units will be facing the water view and have polished concrete floors, in-floor radiant heat and conform to LEED for home guidelines. Gan described it as a “New York-Chicago loft style” develoment. The development itself starts 25 ft. back from Washington Avenue which provides a “staging area.” The starting price will be $595.000.
In his presentation, Gan said that over 70% of the land is vacant. The site is better for residential use than commercial use; there’s more of a residential feel. It’s close to the Trail system, highways and the public bus system.” The area, according to Gan, has no established architectural style with which it must conform. Gan said he will be marketing the development toward “empty nesters.” However, before he can proceed with the building, he needs to pre-sell two of the four units because of the economic situation and the difficulty in retaining bank loans in this economy.
Still outstanding, as well, is the resolution of a boundary dispute with a neighbor over which a lawsuit to quiet title has been filed by the title company. Gan was the developer for the 7-unit Federal Street Townhouses on Federal Street which were completed early last year. The average price for those units was $700,000.
With the exception of the lack of large side windows, planning board members generally liked what they saw. Lee Lowry, III said: “It’s a very nice and exciting project.” Bill Hall said, “It might not appeal to everyone, but I think it would be an enhancement to the property and in terms of the future building there.” Chair David Silk said: “It’s a good start. The scale and massing is apropriate to the neighborhood.”
Following the workshop, Gan said he was pleased with the feedback he received from the planning board.