City Council Regular Meeting


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  Consent Calendar   4.B.       
Meeting Date: 05/13/2019  

Agenda Item:
Resolution granting a Certificate of Design Compliance - former Embers Site (209 North Riverfront Drive); by request of Brennan Companies, d/b/a Brennan Properties of Minnesota, LLC. 
At their April 24, 2019, the Planning Commission recommended adoption of the attached resolution.  
The applicant is requesting a Certificate of Design Compliance to allow for construction of a 5-story mixed use building in the Downtown Gateway Overlay District. The property was previously issued a Certificate of Design Compliance for the construction of a 7-story building in 2015, and a conditional use permit to allow for dwellings above the bottom floor in late 2013 for an earlier iteration of the building design which was 5 stories tall. The Planning Commission reviewed the final plat of Bridge Plaza associated with the request at in November 2014, however the plat has not yet been recorded.
As the proposed development is located within the established Downtown Gateway Overlay District, a Certificate of Design Compliance is required. At this time, the revisions to the building which were previously reviewed and approved necessitate the additional review.
The proposed building is located at the southern portion of the property, adjacent to Second Street. Access to the building is proposed via Plum Street and Riverfront Drive. The proposed building floor area is 68,172 square feet. The floor plan depicts tenant spaces as well as an enclosed parking garage with 18 parking stalls and eight storage units for use by the residential dwelling units. Floors 2-4 are shown as office spaces. The 5th floor is shown to contain six residential units. The floor plan depicts two, 1-bedroom units, three, 2-bedroom units, and one, 3-bedroom unit.
If a restaurant or bistro use is desired in the future, the applicant will pursue a conditional use permit as required in the CBD-F district. An outdoor patio is depicted on the exterior renderings that may be used in conjunction with the restaurant/bistro area. The approval of the patio area to be used in conjunction with the restaurant will be done during the future conditional use permit review.   
The proposed site meets the setbacks for the CBD-F district. The setback standards used for evaluation of the site are the setback standards from the underlying CBD-F, Central Business District Fringe, district where there are no setbacks required for either the building or the parking lot area.  
Access to all units is provided via stairways, elevators, and common corridors proposed through the center of the building. 
Parking meets Mankato City Code standards. The submittal depicts a parking demand of 129 stalls and the proposed parking provided of 158 parking stalls. The proposed parking garage depicts 18 parking stalls. The exterior stalls on the development site contain 108 parking spaces. The property owner has also purchased adjacent properties at 304 North 2nd Street and 118 Plum Street which will support an additional 32 parking stalls; these stalls may be counted as part the development due to their proximity. Bicycle parking stalls will be required at a rate of 5% of the required parking stalls. One loading dock is depicted upon the site on the southwesterly side of the development. 
The floor plan depicts tenant spaces proposed for office uses on floors 1 through 4. The applicant is estimating the net rentable square footage of these areas to be 80%. Using this calculation, floors one through four require 117 parking stalls. The residential component of the proposal requires a minimum of 12 parking stalls per City Code standards (minimum two stalls per unit). 
The proposed building exterior is veneer stone panels with a combination of stone from the Kasota Quarry, Glacier Buff with a honed finish, and stone from the Vetter quarry in Alabama with a splitface finish. Aluminum spandrel panel and glass curtain wall and storefront system are also proposed for the exterior. The proposed exterior finishes conform to the Downtown Gateway Overlay District standards. Significant revisions to the proposed finishes would require additional review and approval by the Planning Commission and City Council. 
The applicant is proposing to use linear LED lighting. The proposal includes installing the LED lighting approximately 10’ below the building at the northwest corner as well as at the stair towers on the west side. The fixtures profile is 3 inches by 3 inches and is proposed to be mounted off the building approximately 9 inches and directed downward with the intent of “washing” the building façade. The fixtures as proposed has the ability to display multiple colors, however the applicant has indicated that the majority of the time the lighting will set as white. The applicant desires the option of displaying different colors at certain times of the year or when there is a special event in the city.
A submitted landscaping plan depicts plantings to be located on the perimeter and interior of the site. The Downtown Gateway Overlay District standards require that any surface parking area which faces a street frontage is to be screened from the street by use of a wall, fence, or hedge, at least 4 feet but nor more than 8 feet in height. This standard would apply to both the primary building site, as well as the accessory parking lot containing the 32 parking stall located on the adjacent lot. This requirement was also noted during previous reviews in 2013, 2014, and 2015.
Resolution granting Certificate of Design Compliance
General Location Map
Site Plan
Site Plan - Off Site Parking
Landscaping Plan
Floor Plans
Building Elevation - 1
Building Elevation - 2


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