Twin Towers Has Appeal

October 7, 2003
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GRAND RAPIDS — A $50 million residential and retail project planned for the Monroe North Business District will get a second chance, as city commissioners agreed this morning to hear a nighttime appeal on a pair of towers proposed for the intersection of Bond and Trowbridge NW.

Union Foundry LLC and Moch International, developers of the project, will get to state their case on Tuesday, Oct. 28, as to why they should be given three variances for a project that offers to deliver hundreds of apartments, retail space, and parking spaces.

"We can agree or disagree with any of the findings from the Planning Commission," said Mayor John Logie. "It will also give the citizenry a chance to address us."

Besides agreeing to hear the developers' appeal of the planning commission's decision, which denied Union Foundry and Moch International four variances for the project, city commissioners also agreed to move the time of the hearing to 7 p.m.

Initially, the commission was scheduled to meet that day at 2 pm. The time change was made to allow for maximum public comment.

The developers are seeking variances on the building's recess line, the number of feet the building will be set back from the curb and longer canopies for each building's entrance. Planning commissioners rejected those three requests at a lengthy hearing on Sept. 25.

They also denied the developers a height variance of 55 feet. The developers are not seeking a height variance and plan to build both towers within the 165 feet allowed by the downtown zoning code.

Opposition to the project came from condominium owners in Monroe Terrace on the corner of Monroe and Trowbridge, just west of the north tower. The Monroe North Business Association, along with a handful of businesses in the district, has expressed support for the developers.    

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