The Town Council voted 6-0 this week to approve an apartment building that will bring more than 100 new residents downtown.
The Graduate is planned for a narrow lot between Kenan and Mallette streets, behind the Chipotle restaurant, Dead Mule Club and The Franklin Hotel. The site is on the northern edge of the Cameron-McCauley Historic District.
The council still votes on projects outside the Ephesus-Fordham redevelopment district, which is governed by a form-based code that requires only the town manager’s approval.
Developer Wintergreen Hospitality, which also owns The Franklin, is planning 85 to 100 one- and two-bedroom apartments, plus 138 parking spaces under the building for residents and some hotel guests. The garage will have access from both streets.
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Fifteen percent of the apartments will be priced affordably, with half marketed to renters earning 60 percent of the area median income, or $27,600 a year for a single person, and the other half priced for those earning 75 percent of area median income, or $34,500 a year for a single person.
Residents, advisory board members and the council earlier expressed concern about the building’s bulk, which pushes up against the property line. The developer seems to have resolved those concerns, Planning Commission Chairman Neal Bench told the council Monday night.
The revised plan removes a rooftop pool and makes the building’s upper section taller and more narrow. The approved building ranges in height from 50 to 90 feet, with the tallest portions sitting farther back from the property line.
Council member Matt Czajkowski said the changes show how the public, town and development officials can work together to make a project better.
“It seems to me at least that you have carefully, in a measured way, moved toward using that space in a very effective manner and that the changes you continue to make as part of this dialogue, are quite refreshing compared to some of the lack of change that we get in other discussions like this,” Czajkowski said.