After enduring criticism of their initial design, the developer and architect who plan to transform the vacant lot where the former Delaney’s used to stand showed off the latest iteration at the City Plan Commission.
The City Plan Commission in a unanimous vote at its most recent meeting approved plans to build a three-story 23,934 square foot building at 882 Whalley Ave. that will feature a 180-seat restaurant on the first floor and 22 apartments on the first and second floor.
Though the design of the new complex has been top of mind for many Westville neighbors, commissioners concerned themselves at the meeting with site plan staples like parking — there will be just 10 parking spaces on site, and 14 off-site — and plans for lighting, stormwater management, tree plantings, and traffic flow. Traffic to the site will flow in and out from Fountain Street. The development will rely heavily on the nearby Blake Street parking lot for off-site parking.
Developer Lior Israel purchased the property from former owner Ron Groves for about $400,000 last year. The approval of the site plan allows him to head to the building department as early as next week to start pulling building permits. He’s already received approval from the Board of Zoning Appeals for a side yard variance and a special exception to permit to only provide 24 parking spaces where 60 are required. Israel also has obtained a permit to allow for a full restaurant liquor license for the restaurant.
Project Architect Leon Mularski didn’t get to talk about how he made good on his promise to round off sharp edges of the design at the corner of Whalley and Central Avenues and to soften gables. The latest version also was sporting a brighter color scheme and individual balconies for apartments rather than what appeared to be shared walkways around the building.
Mularski told commissioners that the plan also includes new tree plantings, especially on the Whalley Avenue side and the sidewalks also would be redone.
Westville Alder and City Plan Commissioner Adam Marchand asked about the bike racks; there will be enough parking for 12 bikes. He also inquired about a popular feature of the former Delaney’s, the patio. Mularski said there will be some outdoor space, but not a lot.
Just looks like a better rendering of a similarly bad design.
posted by: Kevin McCarthy on May 21, 2018 5:15pm
One of the few things as predictable as 3/5ths raising the specter of gentrification vampires is Adam Marchand asking developers about bike parking. Adam asked the same question of the developer of the proposed medical marijuana dispensary. Not that that is a bad thing….
posted by: __quinnchionn__ on May 21, 2018 7:01pm
I’m not sure what I dislike more about this… The style and design of the building or the color of it….. In general I think it’s just an ugly looking building. To be honest.
posted by: BevHills730 on May 21, 2018 7:11pm
Bike parking seems vital to Westville. With the bike path being developed on Edgewood, a bike friendly Westville village could really tie the neighborhood to the rest of the city. I for one look for to riding down to Delaney’s.
posted by: robn on May 21, 2018 7:19pm
(Sound of an eraser flying through the air and bouncing across the table)
posted by: Morgan Barth on May 21, 2018 8:03pm
This certainly looks better than the weedy lot that’s been sitting there since the fire.
posted by: denny says on May 21, 2018 8:06pm
Kevin..yes, very predictable. If this were Dixwell or Edgewood or Newhallvile we would have the local ‘activists’ demanding handouts to the neighbors.
posted by: Bill Saunders on May 21, 2018 8:53pm
How many of you remember when they added the Salmon Colored Crayon to the Big Box of Crayolas…... Architects and Designers have been hoarding this color for decades! Goes so well with Mint Green!!!
posted by: citoyen on May 21, 2018 10:02pm
What KIND of trees are these going to be? Will they be a variety that in time will grow tall enough to hide this ugly thing? (And will there be enough of them? Absolutely none, by the way, on the grim Fountain Street side - which faces, maybe not by coincidence, the competition to come in the First Niagara bank building.)
And c’mon. Can’t these developers find it in themselves to actually CREATE an inviting sidewalk patio eating area which, indeed, was such a successful feature of the original Delaney’s in warm weather? Outdoor eating reportedly WILL be a feature for the bank building. Guess where WE’LL be going in summer?
posted by: __quinnchionn__ on May 21, 2018 10:04pm
For some reason I think that red would be the right color for this building. Even though I hate the way that it’s built.
posted by: Gretchen Pritchard on May 21, 2018 10:12pm
It’s certainly better but still kinda bland.
posted by: __quinnchionn__ on May 21, 2018 10:32pm
I think it’s important for Whalley Avenue to have traffic calming between Fitch and Blake Streets.
posted by: teachermama on May 22, 2018 6:28am
Beautiful! Now let’s improve the crosswalks there, while we’re at it. Don’t want tipsy patrons getting flattened by cars.
posted by: LorcaNotOrca on May 22, 2018 8:04am
Couldn’t they have just designed a building with a patio built in, if it’s so important. Will definitely be a detriment if there isn’t some outdoor seating. Anyway, it’s a thoroughly average and thoroughly uninteresting building, but the vacant lot, if I REALLY had to choose between the two (and boy what a tough decision!), is worse. Let’s just get on with it and have something built by 2020. The old Delaney’s wasn’t exactly a work of art either.
posted by: Patricia Kane on May 22, 2018 8:57am
@denny: what exactly do you mean when you write: “If this were Dixwell or Edgewood or Newhallvile we would have the local ‘activists’ demanding handouts to the neighbors.” It sure sounds like a slam to me. I guess you’ve missed the “activists” demanding “handouts” in Wooster Square and East Rock. And what is a “handout” any how? Sidewalks, good design, architectural value, trees, sensitivity to the neighborhood? How dare they!
posted by: robn on May 22, 2018 9:48am
As CITOYEN noted, the failure of this design is not capitalizing on the corner of Whalley and Central to activate the retail streetscape with outdoor seating, and to make that corner architecturally prominent as an entrance (the roundy on that corner is a woefully incomplete golf swing and I really don’t know why the architect persists with the big entrance gable on Central ave…for pete’s sake its facing the rear of a Dunkin Donuts.)
posted by: opin1 on May 22, 2018 10:53am
Tough crowd. This is a big improvement from original designs. I give it a thumbs up.
I’m guessing there isn’t a lot of outdoor seating because the building is (has to be) so close to the street (in order for them to get enough sq footage). The perfect solution would be a small row of outdoor tables but with one or two glass garage doors that could be opened in nicer weather. From the design, it looks like this maybe the case? An example of this is World of Beer in West Hartford. It would be perfect for this situation.
posted by: opin1 on May 22, 2018 12:00pm
Minor suggestion: the windows on the rounded corner of the building (four sets of two) look funny. Not sure if its because they are too small/too narrow. Or maybe because they sit higher than the other windows. Something just looks a little odd about them.
posted by: Bill Saunders on May 22, 2018 12:24pm
Better than The Novella! (See, I found something positive to say!)
posted by: wm1234 on May 22, 2018 12:31pm
if Edgewood closes then the village will be dead and everyone will have moved out. Who will want to come to Westville!
posted by: denny says on May 22, 2018 1:14pm
Patricia Kane: @denny: what exactly do you mean when you write: “If this were Dixwell or Edgewood or Newhallvile we would have the local ‘activists’ demanding handouts to the neighbors.” It sure sounds like a slam to me.And what is a “handout” any how? _____________ It is indeed a slam! I’m all in favor of the sidewalks, good design, architectural value, trees, sensitivity to the neighborhood that you mention. I’m opposed to the demands for the union jobs and payments to local activists like Kimber. Every time there is a proposed development in Dixwell, he is there with his hand out. Same goes for the attempted expansion at the Whalley Courtyard Marriott - the Dwight neighborhood tried to squash what would have been an upgrade to that neighborhood AND an uptick in the Grand list. The project was shelved for other reasons, but you get the point. We see the same thing with Church Street South; somehow the tenants think they ought to have a right to the new apartments going up. Why?
posted by: prop manager on May 22, 2018 1:22pm
The design looks great. Where are 180 restaurant patrons going to park ?
posted by: denny says on May 22, 2018 1:28pm
The City should be working with the State NOW to close Central btw Whalley and Fountain. That would free up plenty of outdoor seating - for many establishments in that area.
posted by: Kevin McCarthy on May 22, 2018 4:21pm
Bevhills730, I actually bike year-round and appreciate Adam’s advocacy. Installing bike parking at the Delaney’s site makes a great deal of sense. The marijuana dispensary, on the other hand, will get about ten customers per day according to its developer; I suspect few of them will bike there.
posted by: brownetowne on May 23, 2018 11:51am
I’m guessing you all hope they bring back the lousy food and flat beer and dirty silverware. The old business was equivalent to something like Applebee’s or TGIFridays. I don’t get all the nostalgia for less-than-mediocre place to hang out.
posted by: ADAK on May 23, 2018 1:48pm
I hope the developers see what cherished land they are building, and work to make it right with the city and neighbors.
P.S. Yes let’s close down Central Ave between Found and Whalley. It’s a measly 25ft street of road that is unnecessary and would be better utilized as an outdoor social space.