The city planning commission on Monday recommended approval of land development plans for a proposed apartment complex in the city's east end. The approval goes to City Council for final action.
BTJ Investments, which owns the Sheridan Plaza and Almond Grove apartment complexes, is planning to build at 44-unit complex on a vacant lot north of the Almond Grove complex on Almond Street. Each until will be 1,200 square feet and have two bedrooms.
According to Joe Cipriani, owner of BTJ Investments, the project will cost nearly $3 million and will help fill the need for housing in the area.
Cipriani said the company has a waiting list for some its other properties, and the majority are local residents and not gas company workers.
Though he speculated that some of those on the waiting list may have been forced out because of high rents, Cipriani made it clear the complex is not meant to be low-income housing.
"This is not low-income housing," he said. "It's fair market housing."
Mayor Gabriel J. Campana expressed his support of the project, citing the need for housing in the area, and announced plans for a housing task force meeting at 10 a.m. July 26 in his office. He said the purpose of the meeting is to explore future locations for this type of development in the city.
Campana said 24 participants ranging from city officials to real estate developers have already agreed to attend, including Jonathan Williams as a representative from council, and invited the planning commission members to attend as well.
In other business, the planning commission recommended approval of a special exception for a bagel shop on the southeast corner of Maynard and West Third streets.
The site, vacant for years, is owned by Kimball Properties and will be home to Georgie's Bagels.
A special exception was required for the construction of an entrance from West Third Street to the property rather than from Maynard Street in response to traffic flow at the intersection.
Several members of the planning commission and Campana spoke favorably about the project, noting the lot's years of vacancy.
"I am thrilled to see this type of development," Campana said.
The planning commission also recommended approval of land development plans for Frac Tech Services in the Reach Road industrial corridor. The natural gas support company plans to build storage facilities on Reading Avenue at the former Tranco site.