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Batavia aldermen OK Shodeen plan without reduction in scope

BATAVIA – Batavia city aldermen have approved zoning variances for the One Washington Place downtown redevelopment plan without any reduction in the size of the massive project.

The Batavia Committee of the Whole voted 11-1 in favor of the plan at its Feb. 7 meeting. The full council is expected to approve the project Feb. 20.

The proposal will go back March 15 to the Batavia Plan Commission, which recently voted to deny zoning for the project. Planners will be directed to work with Geneva-based developer Shodeen Construction to iron out design details.

Aldermen approved a six-level, mixed-use building with 186 apartments, a public parking garage with 350 spaces, and retail space covering 14,350 square feet.

Plan commission members, like many residents who spoke out during public hearings, had said the project is simply too big, and suggested reducing the number of apartments in order to scale back the building’s presence at the corner of North River and State streets.

But aldermen agreed with Shodeen President Dave Patzelt, who said that in order to maximize the number of public parking spaces in the garage, the apartments are needed to make the project economically viable.

“We’re going to make a mistake if we let this project slip away,” 3rd Ward Alderman Dan Chanzit said.

The lone no vote on the council came from 5th Ward Alderman Kevin Botterman, who cited objections from constituents.

City Administrator Laura Newman said the city remains on track to be able to turn over the 2.25-acre downtown site to Shodeen by June.

Patzelt said work on the project would be able to begin almost immediately.

The project site is bounded by North Washington Avenue on the east, East Wilson Street on the south, North River Street on the west, and State Street on the north.

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