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W. Main apartments finalizing design details

A Charlottesville apartment complex is getting closer to construction.

The Board of Architectural Review discussed the plan for the mixed-use building at 612 W. Main St. during its meeting on Tuesday.

Heirloom Development plans to construct the second phase of an apartment complex on the site that houses the University Tire & Auto Center, which will be demolished.

The board is considering a certificate of appropriateness, which is one of the final approvals needed before construction can start. The application was deferred until at least the board’s December meeting.

Heirloom received a special-use permit in October 2019 for a 52-foot building with retail space on the ground floor facing West Main Street.

The permit allowed for 55 units, but when the final site plan was approved in July it only included 45. Jeff Dreyfus, of Bushman Dreyfus Architects, said during Tuesday’s meeting it would have 41 units.

The first phase was approved in 2016 and completed last year. It is a six-story apartment building behind the existing Blue Moon Diner with about 60 units.

Phase two will have 14 studio apartments and 20 one-bedroom, nine two-bedroom and two three-bedroom units for a total of 58 bedrooms. It includes 43 underground parking spaces and 6,700 square feet for retail use spread across three spaces.

The permit prohibits access to the underground garage from West Main Street. The application says the parking will be accessible through the existing parking garage at the 600 W. Main St. apartments.

The board’s review dealt primarily with building materials and the existing structure, which was constructed and expanded between 1959 and 1973.

Heirloom was not seeking a formal approval during the meeting, only a preliminary discussion as the facade continues through project development.

The structure will be set back 10 feet from the property line and have an additional 10-foot stepback starting at the fourth floor.

The complex will have a larger setback at its entrance.

Board members asked about trees in front of the building, the facade and different materials.

Planning Commissioner Jody Lahendro was concerned the building didn’t have enough variety in setbacks to break-up a monolithic structure.

“I don’t think it’s as successful as I had hoped in bringing a memory of row buildings on Main Street,” he said.

Board member Tim Mohr said it was a “long, horizontal building,” which contrasted to the structure in the first phase.

Board member Carl Schwarz, however, supported the facade and said it was appropriate for the area.

Units in the first phase have been advertised at $1,499 for a studio apartment and $4,090 for a three-bedroom apartment.

As part of the conditions for the permit, Heirloom must create a protective plan for the Holsinger Building, a 1912 structure that serves as the annex for the adjacent First Baptist Church.

The plan would, at a minimum, include a baseline survey of the building, including written descriptions and visual documentation. It must include work with a third-party structural engineer.

The permit requires Milestone to create a protective plan for the Holsinger Building covering safeguards and monitoring procedures.

Milestone must prepare a protective plan that includes seismic monitoring and any other measures recommended by the engineer.

The church must be given at least two weeks notice of demolition or construction activity at the site.

The report and plans must be submitted and reviewed by the Department of Neighborhood Development Services before any demolition or building permits are issued.


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