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Fred Lavery Porsche dealership revamp okayed

By Grace Lovins

Fred Lavery Porsche, located at 34350 Woodward Avenue in Birmingham, will officially be getting a revamped look and size after city commissioners approved a lot combination, final site plan and special land use permit for the dealership during the Monday, January 22, meeting.

The dealership currently sits where Woodward Avenue meets Elm and Haynes streets in the city’s Triangle District. A neighboring lot, 911 Haynes Street, that Lavery also owns is currently home to a two-story commercial building.

According to city planner Brooks Cowan, Porsche is heading towards an all-electrical vehicle fleet and is requiring their buildings to be updated which started Lavery’s application process.

Lavery is proposing to demolish the existing dealership and the two-story building on Haynes to construct a new three-story dealership using both of the lots. A lot combination was requested to do so.

Plans for the new building, said Cowan, fit the six code standards for a lot combination: it fit the Triangle District master plan, it was consistent with the area, there were no unpaid taxes and the development will not negatively impact neighbors. Cowan noted that two of the six standards only apply to single-family residential developments.

Aside from sporting a metallic exterior with louvers to match the design of a Porsche 911, the new dealership will have a large vehicle service area and a parking garage at the back of the building. The dealership will also have four electrical vehicle charging stations, with two along Haynes for public use.

While the dealership was being reviewed by the city’s planning board last year, concerns around a proposed garage door opening up to Elm Street led planning board members to suggest reconfiguring the street altogether. Lavery's plan was sent over to the multi-modal transportation board (MMTB) for them to review concepts for the street included in the Triangle District Plan, as noted in the meeting packet.

During Monday night’s meeting, Cowan explained that the MMTB went with a design that would make Elm a one-way street southbound with a new pedestrian crosswalk and pedestrian courtyard.

Commissioners voted to approve the lot combination for Lavery’s two lots in a 6-0 vote as well as approve the final site plan and design and special land use permit in another 6-0 vote. Clinton Baller was absent from the meeting.


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