Council committee rejects Pacific towers

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January 22, 2007 // UPDATED 10:58 am - April 26, 2007
By: Michelle Bruch
Michelle Bruch

A City Council committee rejected two condo towers proposed as part of the Pacific project in the North Loop on Jan. 18.

Condo towers proposed to be 18 and 28 stories tall would be out of proportion with other buildings in the Warehouse District, members of the Council’s Zoning & Planning Committee said. However, the hotel portion of the Pacific project on the 200 block of Washington Avenue has potential for city approval, they said.

Lupe Development Principal Steve Minn, the project’s developer, told the committee he would be willing to compromise on the height of the condo towers. He said the hotel is the most important component of the project now.

“My primary interest is reality,” Minn said. “The condo market now is not ready for anything [new].”

Committee members rejected an appeal from the developer following the Heritage Preservation Commission’s (HPC) denial in November of a certificate of appropriateness for portions of the project. Committee members said they need clarification on the hotel’s height, because as proposed it appears taller than the historic guidelines’ definition of 10 stories.

Minn said he plans to submit a revised proposal to meet HPC guidelines.

The committee also left an option open for the developer to continue proposing plaza space at the corner of 3rd Avenue and 2nd Street, rather than constructing a building out to the corner. The developer redesigned the hotel to remove a wall of glass originally proposed to distinguish the existing Northwestern building from a six story addition.

Proponents of the project said the block needs to be redeveloped to inject more energy into the neighborhood while critics said the redevelopment plan would be out of scale with the area.