A little background: property owner, Mikko Erkamaa, had originally purchased the long vacant Faust Building with the hope of obtaining a historic preservation credit. The building did not qualify, however, and upon deeper excavation of the site, it was determined that its structure and facade were beyond restoration. In addition, Erkamaa was not allowed to retain any reference to the former Faust Music or Faust Drum Center as per a condition of purchase. The exploration of options for redevelopment of the space into a multihousing complex led to six neighborhood meetings and several redesigns by architect Joel Agaki and Dermond Properties. With guidance from the Department of City Development and after taking into account several suggestions and concerns raised by Bay View community members, this final design is a more subtle blend into the neighboring commercial spaces.
The need for quality material was stressed by all, and in response, the architect assured everyone that this new development will feature materials such as calstar masonry, not hardiplank siding.
The number of units has been reduced from 74 to 69, with 52 1-bedrooms, 5 2-bedrooms and 11 studios; 73 indoor parking spaces and modern amenities, such as an excercise facility, and security will be available to tenants of the space.
The first floor–redesigned to stand at 16′ rather than 14′, is to contain mostly retail space that will face Ward, across which Dermond Properties is looking to fund a Bublr Bikes station to be located on the edge of Zillman Park.
The public parking lot will be shifted slightly further east and will feature tactful trees and greenery as well as a decorative fence; no additional buildings will be torn down to accomodate the new public lot.
Timeline: Dermond expects the existing building to be gone by early next year. The public parking lot will be the first to be moved and completed, and the plan is to break ground early in the year.
There will be notices extended to the 500 closest residents/businesses to the site, and more safety measures will be implemented at the new public parking lot to hopefully reduce the number of car break-ins that take place along Ward. A zoning meeting will take place August 17, and a meeting with the DPW to plan vacation of the right of way will take place on September 27.
While it’s always sad to see an iconic neighborhood building be taken down, we wish Erkamaa and Dermond the best as they move forward to the next phases of the development, and we appreciate the lengths at which they listened to the neighborhood’s concerns and suggestions to better the space.