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Planning Board Backs Franklin Place Condos

The 16-unit complex will be built on former Infiniti dealership site.

A nearly decade-old eyesore at 68 Franklin Place will be getting a makeover, thanks to Summit Planning Board's approval of a plan to build a condominium complex on the site of a former Infiniti car dealership.

On Monday night, the board unanimously decided to considered the "preliminary and final major site plan approval with variances to construct a 16 unit building." The planning board gave the go-ahead to phase one in the development that would be built over the location of a former Infiniti dealership that burned to the ground nearly eight years ago.

Board members discussed the process of the property demolition and corrected the wording in the project plan. The only major discussion arose around tree wells near the property.

If there is no opposition to the project from someone in the community, then the construction should get the go-ahead after a 45-day appeal period, according to city rules.

Some of the details of the project dealt with the layout of 16 apartments, including four single level and 12 multi-story apartments. 

The property, which houses a shuttered Infiniti dealership has been an eyesore for many in the community. Mayor Ellen Dickson said the location, near the entrance to downtown, has needed to be developed for some time now and cheered the passage of . "I'm very happy to see the project ready to go," she said during the meeting. 

There was back-and-forth over the parcel of land known as 68-72 Franklin Place, 82 Franklin Place, Block 3401 Lot 4, 5, & 6, due to careful of the land and its impact on the city.

"This is probably the most complicated small project I've ever done," said developer Brian Stolar, who is helping bring the project to fruition. Stolar, who heads Pinnacle Solutions, said he's leaning towards putting the condos up for sale as opposed to rental units based on current market conditions. An extension to the project is expected to include three affordable units.

This was the first plan submitted for the site after it gained residential zoning approval, according to Gary Lewis, the city inspector. The entire board was generally pleased with the project. 

"I think there's a shortage of rental housing in Summit," said Dickson. The second phase of the project will include affordable rental units across the street from the 16-unit complex. 

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