Developer City Ventures is set to build 33 attached row houses on the 1.8-acre site, replacing a pair of industrial buildings at 1951 and 1941 Colony St. that's home to several businesses with expiring leases. The three-story homes in the development, dubbed "The Collection," are expected to sell for $850,000 each.
Council members had almost universal praise for the design, with member Chris Clark calling "a great project" and member Jac Siegel saying it was "overall good — I like the architecture."
It avoids design pitfalls of a comparable development at the corner of Dana Street and Calderon Avenue, planners and council members said.
"The corners weren't done well at Wild Orchid," council member Ronit Bryant said of the three-story town homes homes at Dana and Calderon. "I live close by and it annoys me everyday and I know it annoys my neighbors too."
"It is nice to have a project that will be ownership," said council member John McAlister. "It balances out all the apartments" in the city.
Bryant said that more attention needed to be paid to connecting such developments to nearby trails. The Permanente Creek Trail is nearby, but access requires walking on a very busy and "amazingly unattractive" portion of Old Middlefield Way, Bryant said.
"When we have a trail so close to development there should be some thought given to a connection," Bryant said.
The developers said they worked with an auto shop just south of the site to build structures at the shop to reduce noise from their air-powered tools. There will also be an eight-foot tall sound wall along the southern edge of the site.
A neighbor complained about noise from early morning trucks making pickups or deliveries to a warehouse south of the site. "I'd gladly see that go somewhere else where there's more room for that kind of stuff," he said.
The project features solar panels and all electric appliances. No gas lines are planned for the homes.