During Monday’s Board of Public Works and Safety meeting Mayor Senter and City Attorney Sean Surrisi explained the plan that the NRP Group would like to build in the South Gateway on for former Cook Brothers and Deon properties just north of Penguin Point. The mayor said this is a very fast moving project and Surrisi said, “This is in the very preliminary stages and there are many contingencies that would have to be handled before the project could start.”
Wednesday evening members of the Revitalization Committee voiced their concerns.
Bob Beiter, representing the Plymouth Park Board said the project would be in direct competition with the 6 Garden Court facilities in the city. Beiter is a 15 year board member for Garden Court System and said some of their facilities have waiting lists but others have immediate openings.
Melissa Christenson representing the Redevelopment Commission asked about the other proposal they had received a month or two ago. That project was for 5 to 6 independent townhomes with a small commercial space on the main level and underground parking. She said, “I would be much more in favor of a mixed age development instead of just targeting seniors just because I think it would add more flexibility and create more diversity for downtown.”
Dave Morrow who is the Park Board representative said, “I thought our vision was to try and attract young professionals out of college that are working in Plymouth but want to live in larger communities. I thought we wanted to get those kids back to Plymouth and have them spend their dollars here.” Morrow indicated that the spot is Plymouth’s most valuable piece of property right now, saying, “We shouldn’t sell out to the first buyer that comes our way.”
George Schricker who sits on the committee representing PIDCO said, “As a store owner in historic downtown Plymouth who’s put a half a million dollars into a building, I’m very concerned because that is a prime spot for a façade that will represent some of the historical nature of the city.” He felt the structure would overwhelm the downtown and its historical nature.” He too said, “It’s crazy to take the first thing that came along.”
Mayor Senter said, “I’ve said a thousand times, nothing happens until my signature is on the line and obviously it’s not.”
Final committee member Tom Pedavoli said, “I think we should keep an open mind. I look at as rather consider a property we may not be thrilled with but get some income coming into the city and perhaps get a property we want later on. We may need to make some concessions to get what we want.” He wasn’t against ruling out 55 and over.
Mayor Senter and the city attorney will take the committees concerns to the developer, NRP Group.
It was reiterated that noting has been signed to allow the project to move forward expect authorization to see if the Board of Zoning Appeals would consider several variances for the project to work.