Uniland Development Company easily won approval Monday for a new townhouse project on the site of the former Park Lane Restaurant at Gates Circle, especially after gaining the support of a neighborhood group known for opposing large-scale redevelopment projects.
The Amherst-based developer, which bought and cleared the site after the prominent business closed in 2007, wants to construct a new 12-unit residential complex. It would consist of two low-rise buildings on two adjoining parcels, located in the shadows of the Park Lane Condominium tower on Gates Circle and Tony Kissling's Gates Circle-Delaware Apartments at 1310 Delaware Ave.
Plans for the 1.2-acre site, designed by Foit-Albert Associates, call for one three-story townhouse building with seven units at 33 Gates Circle and one two-story townhouse building with five units at 33 Lancaster Ave. The two parcels connect in back, in one corner.
The company has not revealed the cost of the new project, which also must be approved by the state Attorney General's Office before the developer can begin marketing the units for sale. Uniland already received a pair of variances from the Zoning Board of Appeals, and construction is expected to take 12 months.
"I think it's a great project," said Planning Board Vice Chair Cynthia Schwartz, while the board's chair, James Morrell, called it "long overdue."
According to a post on Uniland's website, the townhomes would range in size from 2,500 to 3,800 square feet, and include a two-car garage, full basement and private courtyard with a built-in grill and base cabinets. All the units would be for sale, with some likely going for more than $1 million, but specific prices have not yet been disclosed.
Each unit also would have 10-foot "coffered" ceilings, large windows, hardwood floors, a gas fireplace, crown molding and other upscale finishes. A private elevator also is included as standard in some units or an option in others, to enable "aging-in-place" for older buyers.
The exterior design for the Gates Circle building features light-brown brick, cast stone, a tan stone veneer facade, and dark brown roof shingles. Those on Lancaster are largely dark blue fiber-cement shingle siding, with a stone base and brown roof. The project would also include 14 garage parking spaces and 11 visitor parking spaces.