Traverse City Planning Commissioners Approve Site Review Plan For New Building

After more than two years of heated discussions, a vote moves forward a controversial construction project in Traverse City.

City Planning Commissioners unanimously approved the site review plan for a building at Front And Pine Streets.

Originally developers wanted to build a nine story building.

But they got major community push back that led to the passage of Proposition Three.

It says buildings taller than 60 feet need community approval.

"We can look at history in a lot of different ways and I’m choosing to look at it as something we can learn from," said Erik Falconer.

Developers in Traverse City, bouncing back with new ideas, and buildings, after facing serious opposition to plans for this site on West Front Street.

"It’s actually two buildings. One large building in the shape of an N so there will be some interesting variations it will have angles and create two really cool courtyards. Then the smaller building sitting in to one of those courtyards," Russ Soyring said.

The latest design is five stories high. From the sidewalk it stands 60 feet tall, falling within an acceptable height under proposition three.

"I like some of the things they’ve done and some of the green space being created around it and the space to draw the public in," said John Serratelli.

The plan includes at least 220 residential, commercial, and office spaces. There would also be underground parking. The end goal from Pine Street Development One…

"Creating this hub that connects the Central Downtown Business District to the Warehouse District to the North and Gourmet Alley farther down on West Front Street and really changing the dynamic," said Erik Falconer.

But even with changes, not everyone is on board.

"What is this going to do in terms of developing Traverse City over the next 10 years as far as construction? What’s Front Street going to look like? Is it going to be charming? I would say no," one person attending the meeting said.

With the approval developers can start hashing out fine details, apply for a land use permit, and get county approval.

"It is not detailed engineering we don’t have detailed construction drawings there’s a lot of work that goes on after this with staff," said John Serratelli.