Owners of a building located at 425 W. Washington Avenue brought plans for a new 50-unit apartment complex with a Capital Fitness location before a city committee on Monday.
The current building houses Dr. John Bonsett-Veal Vision Source, an optometry clinic. The new building would continue to house his clinic as well as a Capital Fitness center and residential apartments owned by Erik Minton, developers told Bassett Neighborhood Committee members.
The building plan was originally approved in 2009. However, at the time they determined the plan was not economically feasible.
“The numbers just didn’t add up,” John Sutton, of Sutton Architecture, said.
There was also a major program change on the use of the building. Developers decided there was not enough space for a full gym facility with a complete gymnasium and pool, he said.
With the expansion of classes and staff, there was no space to accommodate a full gymnasium, Minton said. He added business is also currently going well at Capital Fitness.
There has been a shift toward increased density in the Bassett neighborhood, Sutton said. He said more tenants are moving in, so an annex would work really well with Capital Fitness.
“They will be services that will accommodate the people living here, walking, biking, these types of things, with the assumption that they will still use the primary facility,” Minton said. “The goal is to put the convenience stuff right in the neighborhood.”
There are also some problems regarding how the building will be zoned. The current zoning of the building is residential, which does not fit the building, but there is some uncertainty about moving the building up to the next zone and opening it up to all the commercial uses, Sutton said.
Minton and Sutton revisited the drawing board and came up with a new, slightly smaller vision for the five-story building.
The new building is focused on efficiency, Sutton said. There is less volume, more usable square footage and more parking space, he said.
The new building has plans for 50 residential units that would be a mix of one and two-bedroom apartments. The first floor would be comprised of the optometry clinic, and the exercise area will wrap around the second floor. The remaining floors would be residential units, Sutton said.
The market for the units is not geared toward students, although they can choose to live there, Minton said. He said the units would be unfurnished.
Some community members voiced concerns about the logistics of the building, such as how parking would be handled and the various entrances to the building.
The next step to the redevelopment plan is to form a steering committee and bring the plan forward to Urban Design Commission, Sutton said. The financing for the project will be in place, he said.
Minton said he has high hopes for this project and would like to see the project begin construction in the fall.
“It will definitely add a lot to the neighborhood,” he said.