The Design Review Board approved plans for a proposed project that would replace the deteriorating Danville Hotel property with a retail, business and living space.
Many minor changes were made to the proposal, said board member Robert Combs.
"We looked at final architecture plans for the Danville Hotel," said Combs. "They had some changes in architecture and in materials, and we were fine-tuning what they had brought back to us."
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.
Now that the Board has provided final approval on the plans, the next step for home builder Castle Companies is applying for a building permit.
"They have a lot more to go still," said Chief of Planning Kevin Gailey. However, Gailey acknowledged that approval from the Design Review Board was a "significant step."
Castle Companies will also have to prepare architectural drawings for the modifications to the two historic structures on the property. It plans to demolish the back half of the Danville Hotel, recreating the original footprint.
Public opinion towards the project has been largely ambivalent. Approximately 10 people were in the audience at the Design Review Board meeting, Gailey said, and public hearings held three years ago, before the project was approved by the Planning Commission, were not "extensively attended by public."
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.
Developer Thomas Baldacci of Castle Companies' 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.