The final plans of the project to replace Danville's biggest eyesore with attractive retail, business and living space will be discussed at a meeting of the Design Review Board and the Historic Design Review Committee on Thursday evening at the Danville Town Hall.
The deteriorating Danville Hotel Wild West structures, which run from Hartz to Railroad to Prospect avenues, were built in the 1950s behind the historic Danville Hotel and its adjoining McCauley House.
The Danville Hotel property project was approved by the Planning Commission on March 22, 2011, with the condition that final elevations, details, colors and materials go to the Design Review Board for final review and approval. Also, due to the historic aspects of the project, the Historic Design Review Committee has to OK it.
Approximately 14,387 square feet of existing retail, office and restaurant space will be torn down, to be replaced with 34,585 square feet of new residential, retail and restaurant space. Sixteen individual residential units are planned.
In its heyday, the big red gingerbread building housed the Silver Dollar Room, later the Danville Hotel Restaurant and Saloon, with smaller shops surrounding it and a large parking lot on two sides. It housed Celia's Mexican restaurant until about 2007.
Since then, although the walkways off Hartz Avenue have been well-maintained, the gingerbread structure has continued to deteriorate while developer Thomas Baldacci of Castle Companies works with the town on plans for the site.
Baldacci's first plans in the early 2000s called for a three-story structure with residential condos, commercial offices, retail stores and an underground parking garage. The town changed zoning to allow mixed uses on the site, but development was stalled due to bad economic times, said Baldacci.
In 2009-10, Baldacci and the town began again to consider the project, but this time without the third story and underground parking. Baldacci said he needed a plan the town approved in order to receive financing for the project, and he has been working to receive input from all the town departments, commissions and council members.
"What we're trying to do is collectively come up with a plan everyone is proud of and happy to go forward with," said Baldacci in 2010.
"I'm dedicated to doing a first-class job there," he added. "The Town of Danville has an outstanding planning staff. I think that if there's a way to get it done, the town will be able to make something happen."
Thursday night's meeting will take place at 5:30 p.m. in the conference room at Town Hall, 510 La Gonda Way.