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Local

Campana apartment proposal in Batavia short on parking

Apartment plan short on parking

A developer is proposing residential housing in the landmark Campana building at Route 31 and Fabyan Parkway in Batavia. It was built in 1936 to serve as a factory for The Campana Company, which produced Italian Balm.
A developer is proposing residential housing in the landmark Campana building at Route 31 and Fabyan Parkway in Batavia. It was built in 1936 to serve as a factory for The Campana Company, which produced Italian Balm.

BATAVIA – A developer’s plan for 80 residential apartments inside Batavia’s historic Campana building lacks the required vehicle parking.

Batavia Planning and Zoning Officer Joel Strassman said that – under the city’s code – the proposal would require 301 parking spaces on the site, but plans submitted by the developer show only 146.

The 301 spaces are needed to accommodate both the apartments and the businesses that are included in Evergreen Real Estate Group’s formal application, which recently was submitted to the city, Strassman said.

The plans included in the application are substantially the same proposal that was presented to the Batavia City Council at a meeting in early May, Strassman said.

Evergreen wants to use the original 1936 factory building and the north addition for the apartments, while maintaining business uses in the south and west additions.

The $30 million project would include 36 one-bedroom units, 38 two-bedroom units, and six three-bedroom units.

The proposal could come before the Batavia Plan Commission as early as Aug. 2, Strassman said.

The project is expected to be considered under the city’s Planned Unit Development ordinance and would need to obtain relief modification for the parking shortage, Strassman said, or increase the number of parking spaces.

At the meeting in May, Mayor Jeff Schielke indicated his opposition to any major reduction in the parking requirement.

Schielke also is expressing concerns about access to the property and the need for sidewalks.

Located at the northwest corner of Batavia Avenue (Route 31) and Fabyan Parkway, there are driveways onto the Campana site from both thoroughfares. The entrances are close to the signalized intersection that is considered dangerous because of its high traffic volumes and layout.

The development could be expected to produce 20 to 30 students of all ages for Geneva School District 304.

Strassman said Evergreen is considering a plan to provide transport for students attending Western Avenue Elementary School. Schielke is skeptical of such an arrangement.

The Campana building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and was designated as a local landmark by the city of Batavia in 2003.

The building is notable for its central tower and horizontal line of glass block windows.

The developer would make use of low-income housing tax credits to help finance the project and offer affordable rents to tenants. Low-income households are defined as making no more than 60 percent of the median income in the local area.

The proposal calls for 16 market-rate apartments, with the rest being income-restricted.

Evergreen also is expected to seek federal historic-preservation tax credits to finance some of the needed renovations, including work on the mechanical systems, roof, masonry and glass block.

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