Vote delayed on downtown redevelopment
Karlin Real Estate has plans to redevelop 1048 Pearl St. and 1026 Walnut St. into two buildings totaling 159,250-square-feet that will incorporate Class A offices, shops and a six-screen movie theater.
The plan for the project went before the Planning Board on Thursday. Karlin was hoping it would be approved, but ultimately agreed to delay a vote until Sept. 13.
Ultimately, the six-week delay will lead to a better project, said Vicky Canto, the Karlin executive overseeing the project.
"Although we're disappointed the board wasn't able to reach a decision, we recognize this is a very important project for the city," Canto said.
The plan was first discussed July 26, but the meeting was continued to Aug. 2 because of the amount of public testimony.
Postponing the vote will benefit the project and Karlin, Canto said. Instead of a having to figure out how to make the building work within strictures that were developed on the fly, Karlin can work with its architects to change the building in a practical and architecturally pleasing way.
"This gives us an opportunity to step back and get a more holistic view of how we can deliver a project that incorporates feedback ... (that) really works for everyone," she said.
It also will allow Karlin to review its financial assumptions to maximize the project's value.
"We weren't able to run numbers to determine the economic impact," Canto said of changes proposed last night.
Karlin continues to search for an anchor tenant for the property, Canto said.
Karlin Real Estate LLC is a Beverly Hills, Calif.-based real estate development and investment company. It bought the property in 2010 for $9 million. It hopes to complete the project in early 2015 after 18 months of construction, Canto said.
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