After City Council Approves Site Sale,
Planning Commission Backs Site Plan
By JIM KEVLIN • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com
ONEONTA — The Lofts are rising.
A day after Common Council, 7-1, authorized the sale of part of the Dietz Street parking lot to Kearney & Son Development for the 64-unit Lofts on Dietz, the city Planning Commission Wednesday evening unanimously approved the site plan application, clearing the way for the project to go forward.
Prior to discussion the plan’s particulars, the commission reviewed the SEQRA application, and authorized chairman Anna Tomaino to sign a “negative declaration.” Under the state Environmental Quality Review Act, such a declaration finds the project will have minimal impact.
The site plan clears the way for Kearney to begin work next spring on the Lofts, a mixed-use building that includes 40 units of affordable live/work space for artists and 24 middle income apartments, plus a home for the Hartwick College Grain Innovation Center and a first floor art gallery.
The Hartwick College Grain Innovation Center will be a key component of their developing Institute for Sustainable Foods, according to a press release from City Hall issued today.
The Planning Commission’s approval follows Common Council’s Tuesday approval of the sale of a half-acre parcel from the two-acre Dietz Street parking lot to Parkview Development, the Kearney’s company, for $257,500. Construction is tentatively scheduled to begin next spring, and expected to take a year or less.
Mayor Gary Herzig called the double approval “a significant step forward in bringing commerce, vibrancy, and creativity to downtown Oneonta.
“The proposed Hartwick College Grain Innovation Center brings an academic presence to our downtown that has long been sought,” he said. “Lofts on Dietz will help address our need for better housing options and will provide a spark to our efforts in positioning Oneonta to be a thriving community of the future”.