HUDSON — City Council last week got an initial look at conceptual renderings for Downtown Phase II, and the project’s developer said he does not believe his company will provide more images before residents weigh in on the project this spring.
Joel Testa, president and chief operating officer of Testa Companies, submitted the renderings to the city last week. Testa said his company contracted with Mota Design Group to create the designs. Jody Roberts, the city’s communications manager, said the city paid $24,500 for the work.
Council member Hal DeSaussure (At Large) said he felt the renderings helped “put the Phase II discussion in context.”
“I expect that the renderings and ultimate plans will go through a revision process to ensure that what is built in Phase II will be in keeping with the character of Hudson,” said DeSaussure.
Council member Dennis Hanink (Ward 1) said that while he felt the plans were “headed in the right direction,” he had hoped to see renderings that depicted the “likely” architecture style before residents are asked to vote in May. Hanink said he would’ve “preferred” a video representation of the proposed project and noted that Testa had put together such a presentation for other developments.
“That would’ve been closer to an actual physical model similar to what was prepared for Phase I for First and Main,” Hanink said.
“We did an additional [rendering] over and above what was contracted,” Testa said. “I don’t believe we will be submitting any more renderings before May 7.”
That is the date when residents will vote in an advisory election on the project. The outcome of that vote will not be binding. The proposed ballot language submitted to the board of elections states: “Should the City of Hudson continue with the redevelopment of the Downtown Phase Two area as a public and private development subject to final approval by the Architectural and Historic Board of Review and City Council?”The project, which will be situated at Owen Brown Street and Morse Road, is expected to have about 70 villas with first-floor master bedrooms, about 20 condominiums, 60,000-70,000 square feet of office space initially, and potentially another 60,000-70,000 square feet later, as well as a parking garage with 250 to 300 spaces.
There are both computer-generated and watercolor images of four different viewpoints of the project. The images show: Morse Road looking north; Owen Brown Street looking north as it intersects with Village Way; a westward view of a road that would be created in the project; and a southward view of that new road as it intersects with Village Way.
The Morse Road view shows a three-story office building made of brick in the foreground and townhomes in the background. The other three views show townhomes, and one of those views show the sidewalk that would be installed alongside the new road. Community Development Director Greg Hannan said the one-and-a half story townhomes along the north side of the new road would have master bedrooms on the first floor. The south side of the new street would have two-story townhomes, said Hannan, who added the road would have the look of other neighborhood streets in the historic district.
Hannan said a sketch of the three-story building with commercial development on the first floor and residential units above appears in the background of the rendering showing the southward view of the new road.
Hanink also noted that no new plan was offered for the space where apartments were originally going to be located. Testa announced in December that he would drop the plan for the apartments after concerns were raised by council members.
Hanink said the renderings are “another baby step,” but that he would like to “be a little more aggressive and work with the notion that as people see more of the detail, they’re going to be favorably disposed and we can get on with it.”Dr. J. Dan Williams, Council member (At Large), said he thought the renderings are “a good reflection of what the development is going to look like.”
He said he appreciated how the drawings for Phase II “correlate” to Phase 1, better known as First and Main.
“My first impression was that it’s going to be a seamless merger between the two phases,” said Williams.
Williams said he also would favor seeing a more detailed plan. He emphasized that the renderings are “not final,” and that building materials and other components that are shown may not be what ends up in the final product.
Roberts said the Architectural and Historic Board of Review, Council and city staff will review the designs.
The Architectural and Historic Board of Review will offer its input on the renderings at its next meeting on Feb. 27 at 7:30 p.m. in Town Hall, 27 E. Main St.
The renderings can be viewed on the city website at www.hudson.oh.us and by clicking on the “Downtown Phase II” link. City Manager Jane Howington said paper copies are available at the Municipal Services Center, 115 Executive Parkway, #400, Hudson.
Reporter Phil Keren can be reached at 330-541-9421, firstname.lastname@example.org, or on Twitter at @keren_phil.