Residents’ concerns over Templin project addressed

Photo courtesy of MJC Templin LLC

Photo courtesy of MJC Templin LLC


An artist’s rendition of 2060 Biddle Ave., the building for medical and professional use across the street from the Police Department at Biddle and Spruce.

‘All the people who live within 500 feet got notice and came and talked about it. The ones who came to council live over on Second Street, over 500 feet away, and I
don’t think they fully understood it.’
— Betty Krimmel
Planning Commission chairwoman

By CHRIS JACKETT
Sunday Times Newspapers

WYANDOTTE – After speaking out at recent City Council meetings, residents along Spruce and Second streets seemingly are content with plans for the nearby Templin Professional Center.

MJC Templin LLC is hoping to begin work soon on a 22,000-square-foot condominium building for medical/professional use across the street from the Police Department on the northwest corner of Biddle Avenue and Spruce, to be known as 2060 Biddle Ave.

The building and surrounding parking spaces could break ground in October and would be complete by July 2011, according to MJC Templin Associate Developer Anthony LoDuca.

Plans for the project originally were approved by the Planning Commission April 15. Blueprints included a total of 113 parking spaces surrounding the building on all sides except the south, as well as additional parking northwest along Ford Avenue.

“It’s a $4 million improvement to that corner,” LoDuca said, adding that the center will be built above a new geothermal well. Tenants and adjacent neighbors will receive a 70 percent cost benefit by using the well for their heating and cooling.

A brick wall at least 5 feet tall will surround the area, helping to keep the neighborhood quiet and relatively undisturbed by the office’s daily routine.

Some residents were originally concerned about a proposed driveway that exits south onto Spruce, just west of First Street. One resident who lives directly across the street from the proposed driveway spoke at the April 15 Planning Commission meeting and said he would like to see houses built in the space instead.

He also said a driveway into the neighborhood would create added traffic volume on Spruce, making it even more difficult for residents parking in the street, plowing snow or raking leaves.

However, the driveway was clarified in the plans as being gated for emergency use only.

In addition to worries about potential driveways into the neighborhood, residents were also upset about the loss of foliage along Spruce. Many have spoken at multiple council meetings throughout the past two months regarding their love of the 40- and 50-year-old trees along that street.

“We increased landscaping because the city had some trees cut. Any trees that have been fallen, we’d alter the landscape to replace those trees,” LoDuca said. “What the residents were upset about is that we designed a secondary entrance.”

Neighbors up and down the streets surrounding the potential medical complex recently echoed the concerns of some residents from earlier this year.

“All the people who live within 500 feet got notice and came and talked about it,” said Betty Krimmel, Planning Commission chairwoman. “The ones who came to council live over on Second Street, over 500 feet away, and I don’t think they fully understood it.”

With the changes made to the driveway and landscaping, the proposed project went back to the commission and dubbed Phase II. Many residents thought the second phase was an expansion of the original development plans they signed a consent form for, but instead it was just the Planning Commission’s second look at the original proposal.

“It’s the same thing. Phase II is Phase II of the Planning Commission. Mayor and council sent us back to the Planning Commission with comments from the building and engineering (department),” LoDuca said. “There is no Phase II on record. If there is more land available, we’d be (interested) to do a Phase II, but we need to see success with the first building.”

The commission approved the most recent proposal at its Sept. 16 meeting; the issue is now on Monday’s council agenda.

(Contact Chris Jackett at cjackett@bewickpublications.com)

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