In tomorrow’s Council meeting, the Book Exchange developer will come and present their new revised plan on the Book Exchange Development. The Council will hear a new revised plan. The City will then seek public input to decide whether to maintain its opposition to the project.
Last week, the developer came to the City with a revised proposal that steps the building down to three stories near the residential development for part of the building about 1/3 of the way through in line with the City’s requested step-down. For the North part of the building, though, the amended proposal maintains the 6-story height on one side until about 50 feet from the rear property line. The developer also made some other changes to the architecture of the building to address the City’s concerns.
In case you’re new to this project, the Maryland Book Exchange development is a mixed-use retail and student housing development proposed for the current site of the Maryland Book Exchange, just north of City Hall.
The Council has consistently opposed the various proposals for the design of this project on the basis that its design and density is incompatible with the surrounding neighborhood and that it does not meet the step-down requirements for a Route 1 development that backs into a residential neighborhood set forth in the Route 1 Sector Plan.
After the District Council decided to remand the project to the County Planning Board for further consideration on the basis that it did not meet the requirements of the Sector Plan, the developer decided to revise the project slightly, but still did not meet most of the concerns that the Council had. Recently, Council voted unanimously to continue its opposition to the project and set forth a number of conditions that would have to be met before the Council would provide its support.
I will let you know once I get more information about the revised plan.