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Historic Preservation Commission agrees to modifications for downtown apartments

By Liz Moomey
liz.moomey@salisburypost.com

SALISBURY — The Historic Preservation Commission gave the green light for redevelopment of 132 E. Innes St. as residential and commercial space on Thursday.

Luke Fisher, president of Fisher Realty Inc., and Jon Palmer, owner of JP+A Architect, presented a request to renovate the property at Innes and Lee streets as four apartments.

Commission members questioned the planned modifications, such as filling in windows on Innes Street, erecting a gate for security and the choice of paint color for brick walls. Palmer said the changes would make it feel more like a residential space and that the project would include the first street-level apartments downtown.

“I understand that this is the first ground-entrance group of apartments that have been attempted downtown, so that also creates some challenges,” Palmer said. “We didn’t want hallways. We didn’t want entrances off a long dark hallway.”

The commission discussed whether the redevelopment would fit in with the “rhythm” of Innes Street. Several members said they don’t think that part of Innes currently has a “rhythm,” so they were OK with the proposed window changes.

Ed Clement, founder of the Historic Salisbury Foundation, said he and the foundation approve of the project.

“I think it’s difficult to take a building like these and put in four apartments each with its own entrance,” Clement said. “I think these people have done a good job of this, and it is a successful project. … We support the project, and we hope you will too.”

Member Jon Planovsky said he supported the modifications based on the current feel of the area.

“This building is almost a warehouse building,” Planovsky said. “Its rear facade is more of a rail walk to me, but it’s downtown. ”

The commission unanimously approved the request.

The commission also discussed and approved a plan for 701 S. Fulton St. Tom and Kelly Kisor asked for approval to remove aluminum siding and make other modifications to the house.

“I’m trying to make this house what it was, and I don’t know what’s underneath this aluminum siding. But why put it up there if there isn’t an existing problem?” Tom Kisor said. “I want to get it back to where it was in 1900 with electricity.”

Kisor said there’s a strong possibility that there is lead paint under the siding. He said removing the siding would be relatively easy.

“With the estimates of $10,000 aside, it’s a gentle procedure,” he said.

Modifications also were requested for 716 S. Fulton St. and 328 E. Bank St. The commission approved both requests.

Kyle Harris, the city’s historic preservation planner, talked about steps being taken to make historical preservation more customer-friendly.

The Historic Preservation Commission will next meet at 5:15 p.m. Oct. 18 at 1 Water St.

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