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Planners back five-story addition to post office

By Grace Lovins


A proposed contemporary five-story extension to the historic Birmingham post office building will be heading to the city commission for final approvals after a unanimous recommended approval for its final site plan and design review from the city’s planning board on Wednesday, July 27.


The five-story addition would be built on the back of the historic post office, which was first erected in 1929. It would replace the on street parking surface lot located on Maple and Bates streets. The addition would have first floor retail along its Maple frontage, two floors of office and two floors of residential.


The proposed addition will include renovations to the parking lot, loading bay area, and dumpster area, according to planning director Nick Dupuis, including mostly back-of-house operations. Since presenting preliminary site plans, the owner of the post office site, Surnow Companies, performed environmental investigations of the soil and updated investigations of the site.


Kevin Biddison, Birmingham architect working on the project, made no additional comments to the presentation given to the planning board, other than he is very excited about the proposed addition and would be happy to answer questions.


Chairperson Scott Clein thanked Biddison for putting together and presenting a complete and well done set, and stated he appreciated the efforts regarding the information given to the board.


With little concern and critique of the project, the planning board voted 7-0, with alternate board member Jason Emerine voting in place of board member Daniel Share, to recommend approval of the addition to the post office to the city commission with three stipulations, which are the applicant must provide revised glazing calculations and specification standards that show compliance with the zoning ordinance; planning board approval of a two-foot canopy projection into the W. Maple Road and Bates Road right-of-ways; and the applicant must comply with the requests of all city departments.

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