Zoning request hints at jobs

Published 12:00 am Monday, January 31, 2011

By Emily Ford
Jobs and investment could come to the Park Avenue neighborhood.
Two vacant parcels along North Arlington Street between East Council and East Liberty streets ó near restaurants and retail at Town Creek Commons ó have caught the eye of a developer.
Property-owner Jake Alexander was tight-lipped Monday night but said a prospective buyer is considering a $4 million to $5 million investment that would create 20 to 40 jobs.
ěWeíve had an inquiry serious enough that we wanted to get it rezoned,î Alexander said.
The new development would face North Arlington Street, Alexander said, and create jobs and investment ěall within walking distance of Park Avenue neighborhood.î
The neighborhood has been plagued by crime and decline but shows signs of recovery.
The Salisbury Planning Board approved Alexanderís request to rezone the parcel at 825 E. Liberty St. from Urban Residential to Corridor Mixed-Use.
In combination with the vacant lot next door, which Alexanderís A&H Investments Inc. also owns, he now has about 2.2 acres of property zoned Corridor Mixed-Use.
Corridor Mixed-Use is intended for development that is traditionally detailed and encourages pedestrian use through connections to adjacent neighborhoods, as well as the construction of vertically mixed-use buildings including commercial, industrial and residential.
City Planner Preston Mitchell recommended rezoning because Corridor Mixed-Use offers a ěsoft transitionî between the neighborhood and Town Creek development area, including a 15-foot landscape buffer.
To further woo the developer, Alexander said he will ask City Council to close an alley that runs between the two vacant lots.
Contact reporter Emily Ford at 704-797-4264.