By Jessica Soule / The Citizen
A favorable decision has brought Matteo Bartolotta’s destiny one approval away.
The Auburn Planning Board agreed Tuesday to recommend the Auburn City Council approve a plan that will refurbish an old piano factory on Logan Street, Auburn into a complex with 35 higher-end housing units.
Pending council’s nod, Bartolotta would like to see renovations begin on the Logan Park Lofts in two months. The planning board will give council the recommendations with small modifications to the plans.
“We’re going in the right direction. I never think about the numbers, I just think with my gut and my heart,” said Bartolotta, owner of Bartolotta Furniture on State Street.
Developers plan to craft condominiums with one, two or three bedrooms out of the two buildings which were once connected.
Architect Andrew Ramsgard said the designs include hard wood floors, the original high ceilings, and the large windows to capture the natural light.
“For all intensive purposes, we’re going to restore the building’s natural (character),” Ramsgard said.
The application was approved with the understanding that the developer would include 35 units and allow enough parking for 61 vehicles.
Bartolotta approached the city council about his idea last fall. The Restore NY Communities Initiative Municipal Grant Program awarded a $1.8 million grant to help fund the $4.9 million project.
The property, 9 to 11 Logan St., includes the main three-story L shaped structures and a separate two-story rectangular building.
The placements of the buildings will allow developers to create a “heavily planted” courtyard with a garden and a fountain, Ramsgard said.
“I think it will enhance the neighborhood very, very well.” planning member Sam Giangreco said. “I think it will be a draw and a boost to Auburn.”
Four members voted to recommend the project to council. One member was absent and member Anthony Bartolotta abstained from voting. Because Anthony Bartolotta is Matteo’s son, he also refrained from commenting on the project.
Director of the Office of Planning and Economic Development Jennifer Haines points to a recent housing market study which suggested the city increase the number of upper scale dwelling units aimed at young professionals.
Planner Stephen Selvek agrees the project may encourage young professionals to stay in the area.
Selvek said this type of project has worked well in Skaneateles and Syracuse.
“First and foremost, this will bring a new type of housing in Auburn, this type of higher end condos aren’t here. Public comment is saying there’s a need for it,” he added.