Design Review Board

Level 3: Construction of new building/structure


Staff Recommendation

Staff recommends approval of Certificate 4-E-24-DT, subject to the following conditions:
1) Revisions to exterior cladding to incorporate additional masonry or other materials which meet the guidelines to "relate to the scale, durability, color, and texture of the predominate building materials in the area";
2) Final site plan and parking garage to meet City Engineering standards;
3) Final landscaping plan to meet standards of City zoning code (12.2) and design guidelines;
4) Any mechanical equipment or service utilities not shown on plans to be placed on secondary elevations and receive screening as necessary;
5) Signage to return to Design Review Board as a separate application.

Applicant Request

SUMMARY: Proposed new 5-story residential construction. The building is proposed for a rectangular site at the intersection of W. Vine Ave. and Locust St., currently featuring the Carpenter's Union Building and a surface parking lot. The building is L shaped, extending the full length of the parcels along W. Vine Ave and Locust Street, and features a surface parking lot recessed behind the building.

SITE LAYOUT AND ACCESS: The parking lot is accessible via a 22' wide drive extending north off Cafego Place. Mechanical and service fixtures, including access to a trash room, are also located on this elevation. The primary pedestrian access point to the building is located to the rear of the building, in the north, as a storefront entry system located on the south elevation of the massing fronting W. Vine Ave. There are no ground-level entries or amenities fronting W. Vine Ave or Locust St.

DESIGN ELEMENTS: The flat-roof building features a first story clad in brick veneer. The primary exterior material is painted cement board, arranged in alternating bands of horizontal shiplap and vertical panels. Units feature paired double-hung windows and full-light sliding doors, which provide access to balconies on the second through fifth stories.

Site Info

1. The building is proposed for a parcel currently containing a c.1940 building (to be demolished) and surface parking. The site is surrounded by multi-family construction, including contemporary townhouse style units to the north and a tall multi-family building to the west, with a historic brick masonry church further to the east. The blocks feature a limited amount of pedestrian activity, as it is somewhat disconnected from Jackson Ave by topography and the rest of downtown by Summit Hill Drive.

2. The application includes approximately 18 spaces on a new surface parking lot, accessed from Cafego Place. Overall, the access point meets the design guidelines as it creates only one curb cut on the sidewalk (where there are currently multiple) and will not create additional safety issues for pedestrians. The parking lot meets the guidelines as it's located to the rear of the building. The final site plan should meet City Engineering standards.

3. Guidelines encourage maintaining a pedestrian-scaled environment from block to block, and avoiding blank walls along street-facing elevations. The application avoids blank walls via a series of double-hung windows and sliding glass doors along the Vine Ave and Locust St elevations. The guidelines also recommend dividing buildings into "modules" similar in scale to traditional downtown buildings with a recognizable base, middle, and top. The design includes details typical to contemporary multi-family buildings, using vertical bands to break up the massing along a brick foundation base and a parapet-topped roofline.

4. The project does not include any commercial or public uses on the first story. Many guidelines encourage incorporating first-floor uses that are open to pedestrians and draw walk-in traffic. Other fully residential buildings approved by the Board recently include 701 E. Hill Avenue (8-F-22-DT), which noted that the building was proposed for a largely residential area which didn't contain other commercial or retail spaces. At 121 Union Ave (7-C-23-DT), the multi-family building included a retail use at the corner and engaged the street via a series of townhouse-style stoops and entries. The proposal does create a "consistent rhythm of entrances and windows" along the Vine Avenue elevation, though the entrances open to private balconies separated from the sidewalk. The Board should discuss the proposed ground-level design within the neighborhood context.

5. Guidelines recommend the use of building materials that "relate to the scale, durability, color, and texture of the predominate building materials in the area." The surrounding area is characterized by the use of brick masonry, from the c.1970s and 1980s multi-family buildings to the north and west, to the contemporary townhouses to the northwest, to the Fraternal Order of the Eagles Building and the historic church nearby. Fiber cement siding panels do not demonstrate the same durability or detail as historic masonry. The building incorporates one level of brick masonry on the ground level. The Board should discuss the proposed materials. In the opinion of staff, the proposed design should incorporate additional masonry or a revised exterior cladding design which "relates to the scale, durability, color, and texture of the predominate building materials in the area."

6. The proposal meets the guidelines for residential buildings, with residential accesses "elevated so that pedestrians cannot look directly into the residence from street level."

7. All mechanical and service utilities indicated on the plans meet the guidelines as located on secondary elevations; any not shown should receive screening as necessary. Lighting should meet City standards for exterior lighting.

8. The signs depicted on the elevation drawings do not contain sufficient information for Board review at this time; a separate signage application should be submitted to the DRB for further review.


Oren Yarbrough Design Innovation Architects

Planning Staff
Lindsay Crockett
Phone: 865-215-3795
516 W. Vine Ave.

City Summit, LLC