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March 26, 2013

City considering major development

PLATTSBURGH — A major housing development is being considered for the City of Plattsburgh’s South End, but is it too big?

“The size of this is just overwhelming,” Planning Board member William Ferris said at Monday night’s meeting to discuss a plan to construct a 96-unit apartment complex in a vacant lot where New York Road and Route 9 come together.

The five-acre property used to house the former Plattsburgh Air Force Base Hospital.

FOUR PHASES

The project, being floated by attorney and former City Court Judge Gary Favro, is called Lewis Heights in honor of Clyde Lewis, the former head of the Plattsburgh Airbase Liaison Committee who is largely responsible for bringing the Air Force to Plattsburgh.

The base was open in Plattsburgh from 1955 to 1995.

The development would be built in four phases over about an eight-year period, Aaron Ovios of engineering firm Robert M. Sutherland PC, who was representing the developer, told the Planning Board.

The meeting was to discuss a sketch-plan review of the project. It is too early to know whether the project would require any vaiancesNo votes were taken.

SIZE QUESTIONED

Ovios said the development would feature one- and three-bedroom apartments, some with garages.

“The market is flooded with two-bedroom units right now,” he said.

When complete, the project would include two buildings nearly 400 feet long each and three stories high, which raised some issues with Planning Board Chairman Joseph Rotella.

“I am concerned about the size of these buildings,” he said. “They are almost 400 feet long. They might be too big.”

Ovios said one of the reasons the plan was brought to the Planning Board was to find out concerns and perhaps make adjustments.

“We wanted to present this idea to let you know what were thinking of and get some input,” Ovios said.

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