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Central Northside News – January 2009
Progress is being made on the Community Master Plan for the Central Northside. The Steering Committee has had several meetings with the Pfaffmann + Associates their sub-consultants to establish a roadmap for the planning process. Pfaffmann + Associates has been gathering GIS information about the neighborhood, mapping existing conditions, and has reviewed previous planning studies and plans to determine what is still relevant to our current community planning efforts. Members of the Steering Committee and other CNNC members have given the urban designers tours of the Central Northside to familiarize them with the neighborhood. These will be continuing over the next several weeks. If you see folks with cameras and sketchbooks, be sure to say hello!
The group has also met with Pat Clark from Jackson Clark Associates to establish the scope of services for the community market assessment portion of the community plan. In the near future Pat will be reaching out to residents, community organizations, and business owners to gain information that will aid him in his market assessment. Jackson Clark’s scope of work will include both a housing and retail component.
In addition to Pat's outreach efforts, Sheila Washington (another member of the consultant team) has developed a scope of work for the community process. As part of her initial outreach, Sheila will be calling a handful Central Northside residents to talk the Community Master Planning process and discover ways that this process can be most effective and most inclusive. As the final dates for our meetings and events are scheduled, we plan to let the members and residents know so that everybody can get involved. We are just in the early stages of this process but I will make sure to update as we go. Randi Marshak Chairperson of the Steering Committee for the Community Master Plan
The Aiello Development Company is progressing with their plans to develop the blighted corner of Federal Street and North Avenue. Members of the Aiello Work Group (Annette Green, Audrey Woods, Bob Weis, Dennis McAndrew, Gwen Moorer, John Canning, Randy Zotter, and co-chairs John Francona and Barbara Talerico) have been coordinating neighborhood input on the design and use of the buildings. As owner of the properties, the URA makes the final decision about their use, but the process requires neighborhood input via the Work Group.
John and Barbara brought Work Group recommendations to a project team meeting in December, where project status was discussed. Here is an update: Final building design and pricing are underway. Several banks are performing the due diligence necessary to prepare for project financing. The project currently has a funding gap, but the URA and Northside Community Development Fund are assisting with financing strategies. Several retail tenants (including coffee shops and restaurants) have expressed formal interest in the space. Aiello has agreed to spend the extra money to preserve 4 W. North Avenue, an architecturally important building in this corridor. Overall, we’re very pleased with the progress that’s been made so far. Project representatives will attend the CNNC general membership meeting on January 12 to present current architectural renderings and provide further updates