A Hillsborough Street apartment proposal that would bring new development to an established neighborhood of single-family homes has new life.
Developers want to show they can build in what’s envisioned as a high-density corridor without disturbing long-time residents who objected to the original proposal.
Cedar Fork Investment had planned to build a five-story apartment building on the edge of the University Park neighborhood near Faircloth Street. But the developers couldn’t settle on a design that made sense to them and could win the support of residents.
“It became clear at the end that there was still a lot of anxiety,” said Mack Paul, an attorney for the developers, at a Raleigh Planning Commission meeting Tuesday.
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After lengthy conversations with the residents, the developers ultimately asked the city council to deny their rezoning application for the 2.2-acre lot, potentially setting up a long wait for a redo on the site. Usually the planning department won’t accept a rezoning request for the same property twice in a two-year period.
However, the Planning Commission voted Tuesday to recommend waiving the waiting period because new developers have indicated they’ll submit a substantially changed proposal that seeks to address residents’ worries. The city council will have the final say on the waiver.
“Waiting 24 months seems to be inappropriate if they’re trying to find common ground,” said Steven Schuster, chairman of the commission.
The new developer, Jim Zanoni, a principal at FMW Real Estate, has said he thinks the proposed project can be split into multiple buildings that are capped at four stories.
Bill Hube, a resident who helped lead discussions with developers, said the waiver makes sense. Neighbors know something will be built on the lot, but they want a smooth transition from any new building to the existing houses.
Zanoni’s suggestions are promising because height and mass have been among neighbors’ top concerns, Hube said.
“We’re again taking a positive approach,” Hube said. “We’ll work with them as partners.”
Zanoni, a Charlotte-based developer, has focused on Hillsborough Street in the last decade and is behind the four-story apartment buildings under development at 2811 Hillsborough St., at Dan Allen Drive, and 1301 Hillsborough St., next to Ashe Avenue.