Hillcrest Eyesore Saga To Be Continued

It’s no secret the old Chase Bank office tower on Hillcrest Avenue has been a point of conversation among most UP residents.

The well-known property on the corner of Hillcrest Avenue and Daniel Avenue brought several concerned residents to UP City Hall last night for a public hearing for property owner Jim Strode’s proposed zoning change.

This is not a first for the now-empty structure. Changes have been proposed for the building by various developers since 2001.

Strode’s plan for “Park Plaza” features a 127,880 square-foot mixed-use development to include office, retail, and restaurant tenants. The proposal nearly doubles the height of the old Chase Bank tower from around 72 feet to seven stories at 119 feet (the current zoning is set at a maximum of 60 feet) and would include three levels of above-grade parking and four levels of sub-grade parking.

The common theme from supporters of the development was the benefit of additional parking that could be made available for employees at Snider Plaza to purchase, deterring them from parking in nearby residential areas.

Arguments against the proposal ranged from the plan’s aesthetics (one person compared the rendering to downtown’s Museum Tower) to the consideration to a potential increase in traffic.

But the plan wasn’t entirely drowned by naysayers. Some of the opposition prefaced their arguments with concessions that Strode’s proposal is a good start to a possible solution – a different attitude than opponents have had towards past proposals.

The commission voted to continue the public hearing at its next meeting on July 12. So mark your calendars and see you there!

PZC Report Park Plaza 061416

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