Lagoon-Irving Condos approved, along with many variances

The City Planning Commission approved a proposal for an upscale six-story, 34-unit condo at 1609-11 Lagoon Ave. and 2910 Irving Ave. S. from Hornig Companies on Nov. 28.

Currently, the lot is occupied by rental properties including a couple of houses, a fourplex and a duplex, all of which are run-down, said Jon Hornig, a third-generation developer in a company that has been in the area for 50 years.

The East Isles Residents Association (EIRA) supported the project, which includes architectural details drawn from the neighborhood.

“I think we came up with a good project. We’re trying to be different. There’s so much activity. We want to be more traditional than a lot of the new glass contemporary buildings,” said Hornig.

The company incorporated feedback from the community and added more green space, an entrance and additional units on the street level, making the design more pedestrian-friendly. Because Hornig reduced the footprint for the project, it didn’t need a variance for the impervious surface square footage requirement as was originally sought.

The City Planning Commission (CPC) approved a conditional-use permit (CUP) for the 34-unit condo and a laundry list of other CUPs and variances, including a CUP to increase the height from 2.5 stories to five stories. Normally, that would not be allowed because the site is in a Shoreland Overlay District.

The CPC, however, denied a variance to allow an increase in the maximum building coverage for the property and approved setback variances on three sides of the building.

Also, the CPC approved a variance that allows the lower-level parking garage’s drive aisle width to be reduced from 22 feet to 21 feet. It denied a variance to diminish the width for two parking stalls located on the alley from 22 feet to 13 feet.

On the whole, though, the CPC approved the site plan and asked that Community Planning and Economic Development Planning staff review and approve the final site. All site improvements need to be completed within one year.

Hornig said the units would sell for $300 per square foot and up, about $300,000-$500,000. The company is considering Leed certification that would make it a “green” building, or environmentally sound. “We believe in sustainable development and want to differentiate ourselves on the market,” said Hornig.