EAST ISLES — Five stories of commercial and residential space are proposed for 1618-20 W. Lake and 2915 James Ave., according to the East Isles Residents Association.
The developer, Frothinger Properties, declined to comment.
According to the neighborhood: The apartment or condominium project would provide retail on the first floor, with upper-level residences set back from the street. The developer would need a variance from the city to build at the proposed height.
“The problem is none of us want any more taller buildings than we have to,” said Harvey Ettinger, co-chair of the neighborhood Zoning & Land Use Committee.
Ettinger noted that the city approved an apartment project at Lake and Knox that broke with height guidelines of the Uptown Small Area Plan, leaving the neighborhood in a challenging position. The five-story project, “1800 Lake,” is 20 feet higher than the maximum laid out in the plan.
“It’s getting harder to say it’s unreasonable to have taller buildings,” Ettinger said. “ As land values go up, it’s harder for people to make projects financially work if they are limited to a few stories. … Whatever happens here probably will set another level of precedence for the future.”