New owner for Cole Street property, city approvals
A ramshackle Rail District property which has come before Birmingham boards over the years with a variety of owners has new ownership once again, and on Wednesday, June 27, received unanimous final site plan and design review approvals from the Birmingham Planning Board, with the anticipation that the it will finally be improved. The owners were represented at the meeting by one owner, Tom Lasky of Bloomfield Hills, and Jason Krieger of Krieger Architects. “The new owner would like to clean the property up and use it as it is,” said planner Matt Baka. “They hope to renovate the property and allow three tenants, one with retail, one fitness, and storage, and expand the parking.” He said they are also proposing extensive landscaping improvements, including five canopy trees along the street, eight trees in the parking lot, and extensive plantings on the property line and an open air patio that would be added to the front of the building, which would extend to the lot line. “They must landscape five percent of the property. This will exceed that,” Baka said. The existing parking lot has 29 parking spaces, Baka said, and the owners are proposing to expand the lot to have 38 parking spaces. “They need 12 spots for the businesses proposed. They're looking to just clean up the building, add a new coat of paint and news doors and windows.” Planning board member Robin Boyle asked Krieger if more sidewalks, beyond the one to be added in the front of the building, could be added throughout the parking lot. Krieger noted they could potentially lose one to three spots “but we're overparked,” and they would consider it. A cabinet shop is signed to go into the northernmost location, along with a fitness studio, and they are looking for another tenant, Krieger said.