The Zoning Commission gave The Highline at Union Market the go-ahead that it needed on Monday night, approving variances for requirements related to the rear yard, compact parking spaces and the loading and roof structure requirements. The setback of the roof structure was brought up by Commissioner Peter May during the final discussion, who expressed some concern that while it doesn’t block the view of anything currently built, a future development may have to contend with the structure.
However, May said that it wasn’t something worth holding up the development, and with no other concerns from the commissioners, the motion to approve the project was unanimously supported.
The Eric Colbert-designed project, which will take the place of the Burger King on Florida Avenue, will have 10,000 square feet of retail, 315 units and 143 parking spaces. However, the highlight of the project may be the park on the western portion of the site.
The developers intend to develop the currently unkempt site into a multi-level landscaped park that will provide a walkway into Union Market. Level 2 intends to be responsible for the park for ten years in anticipation of forming a business improvement district, which will eventually assume the responsibility.
The development’s 13 proposed affordable units will be located off-site, and are scheduled to be completed before the planned unit development is awarded. If they aren’t, five of the units will move back on-site and be reserved for households earning up to 50 percent of the area median income (AMI). Any others still undeveloped by this time will also revert back to on-site but be reserved for households earning up to 80 percent AMI.
“This is a creative approach to getting the affordable housing that is badly needed,” Vice Chairperson Marcie Cohen said.