By Paige Kieffer
A new residential and commercial building at 289 Water St. will be considered at the June 19 Excelsior City Council meeting.
The development is planned for the 0.22 acre, 10-stall parking lot on Water Street and Third Street, located between Vinaigrette and Excelsior Brewing Co.
The property is owned by Brian H. Burdick, a Greenwood resident and Burdick Properties Inc. president and owner.
“Our goal is to bring in a new vibrant retail business or businesses that is a good mix for all in Excelsior,” he said. “After a lot of hard work from city staff, the engineers, architects and us, we’re finally here. We’ve always had the support of the business community and the community as a whole, which is kind of nice. They would like to see some new and vibrant retail business along Water Street and they’re excited for that.”
Burdick also owns Hour Glass Cleaners, 426 Lake St., and 287 Water St., which includes Vinaigrette, Wine Republic and Olive’s Fresh Pizza. Burdick renovated the interior and exterior of 287 Water St. in 2009 for $500,000.
The 289 Water St. property is planned as a two-story building with retail on the first floor and residential space on the second floor.
The retail space is 3,200 square feet and will include one or two tenants. There is one door on the corner of Water Street and Third Street and another door on Water Street.
The residential space is 3,392 square feet with two apartments, which will each have two bedrooms and two bathrooms.
The building will include an enclosed trash area, up-down wall scone lighting and a four-space 3,271 square feet underground parking area that’s accessed by an elevator with an entrance on Third Street.
Burdick purchased 289 Water Street in 2009 and started planning the project the next year. In 2010, he applied for design standards and a site plan review that was granted on Nov. 1. The Heritage Preservation Commission recommended approval of the site alteration permit and the planning commission also recommended approval July 20.
In 2010, the parking impact fee was being considered for the property and would have required the building have 27 parking stalls so Burdick decided to back out of the plan due.
In 2015, he started the planned unit development process again and sought relief from a number of required spaces. The Planning Commission recommended approval Dec. 15.
On Jan. 19, the planned unit development was denied 4-1 by the City Council due to concerns about parking.
“We have some issues with our parking ordinance that we haven’t addressed yet and we need to,” said Councilmember Jennifer Caron. She and Councilmember Greg Miller expressed concern about giving allowances on parking.
“I don’t think our retail is going to tip the parking scales in Excelsior,” Burdick said. “We’re actually reducing traffic congestion on Water Street and Third Street by removing the parking lot.”
“Overall I think it’s a good project and it will bring in more tax capacity,” Mayor Mark Gaylord said. “There are some compromises on parking, but I think it’s a good plan.”
“I like the project quite honestly,” said Councilmember Todd Carlson. “I think we do have some parking issues that we need to resolve and I want to have those discussions.”
On April 3, the planned unit development was denied because of late parking impact fee payments. Once the fees were paid, Burdick applied for a conditional use permit. The application was reviewed by the Planning Commission at a special meeting June 7 and they recommended approval 5-1. Then it will go to the City Council on Monday, June 19.
Both the commission and the council praised the building’s overall design aesthetic, noting that it blends in with historic Excelsior. Overall parking was the largest concern. Burdick said they agreed to pay eight parking impact fees due to being eight spaces short of the 12 total needed for the building.
“This project is still going to keep the character of Excelsior which is something I personally agree with,” Burdick said. “Our goal has always been to make this a great project for all of Excelsior and we’re going to do that.”