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Committee OK's Marlborough apartment project plans

METRO WEST DAILY NEWS – Saying parking should not be an issue, Urban Affairs Committee members Tuesday signed off on a restaurant owner’s plan to build a four-story addition to his downtown eatery that will house 40 new apartments.

The full City Council is expected to vote on the committee’s recommendation in the coming weeks.

In hopes of bringing more energy to the city center, Fish Restaurant Owner George Voyiatzis is seeking to transform his one-story building at the corner of South Bolton Street and Granger Boulevard into a mixed-use property with one- and two-bedroom apartments on the upper floors and businesses on the lower level. The building’s first floor houses a Dominos, Starbucks, Stony Brook Market and Melon Frozen Yogurt.

“We are trying to do something to re-energize downtown,” said attorney Arthur Bergeron, who is representing Voyiatzis.

The new Marlborough Village zoning district allows developers to make payments in lieu of creating more parking and instead use spaces available in the municipal garages. Voyiatzis’ property has 18 spaces, including five spots for compact cars, and tenants will use 24 spaces in the municipal garage under the plans.

Voyiatzis will make a $240,000 mitigation payment to the city to satisfy the parking requirement. Those funds will likely be put into an account for downtown improvements, said Joseph Delano, Urban Affairs Committee chairman.

While some committee members said they initially had worries about a potential parking crunch that would come with the project, they believe there is ample parking for residents and downtown visitors.

Several committee members have driven by the municipal garage during the day and night recently and saw numerous empty spots, specifically on the top level.

“During the day that top deck is wide open,” said Urban Affairs Committee member Peter Juaire.

Committee member Matt Elder agreed, saying he is not concerned about a potential parking crunch.

“There tons of parking down there throughout the day,” he said.

Delano said the nearby Newton Street garage also often has available spaces.

A recent study conducted by the Metropolitan Area Planning Council found the maximum use of the city’s downtown municipal parking was 60 percent, said Bergeron.

“There were a lot of spaces during the day time and a ton of spaces at night,” he said.

Voyiatzis hopes to begin construction sometime this spring.

He plans to use modular construction to build the addition. Crews will build a table on the existing building and install structural supports. The residential unit sections will be constructed off-site in an enclosed facility, be transported to the project site and lifted and bolted into place using a crane. Construction is expected to take about a month.

This article by Jeff Malachowski originally appeared here.