A rezoning and design plan approval request have been submitted for the construction of a $3.8million, 12,000 square foot dialysis clinic at 615 Park Street in the Brooklyn neighborhood.
Presently, the site is used as a surface parking lot offering monthly parking to Blue Cross Blue Shield and Fidelity employees. A dialysis clinic once operated on the site, but that building was demolished nearly a decade ago.
The developer will meet with the Downtown Development Review Board on Thursday for the consideration of deviations from the zoning code in relation to excessive surface parking and not having sufficient ground floor windows adjacent to the sidewalk.
The adjoining surface parking lot proposed would be comprised of thirty-five standard parking stalls and two handicap-accessible parking spaces. The lot would also feature a drive-through covered drop-off/pick-up area. Brooklyn falls within the Downtown Zoning Overlay, which seeks to limit the amount of surface parking lots built within Downtown’s borders. As such the maximum amount of parking spaces that could be provided given the proposed use would be 19. The developer indicates that the nature of the use requires more parking due to the nature of treatments patients of the clinic would receive and the number of employees who work in shifts.
The Downtown Zoning Overlay also requires that a building’s wall interact with the sidewalk in such a way that provides transparency to pedestrians passing by. Having large windows along the sidewalk is thought to encourage walkability (think of how uninteresting it would be to walk through a mall that has no display windows). The developer contends that this deviation is needed for security reasons, noting that patient privacy and potential vandalism (as some would falsely assume that a dialysis clinic stores prescription drugs on site) are a practical concern for the operation of the clinic.
There is a companion rezoning application (2019-162) which seeks to reclassify the property from Commercial General (CCG-2) to Commercial Neighborhood (CN). This rezoning is a practical consideration given the use. Hospitals, nursing homes, assisted living facitilies and group care homes are allowed under CCG-2 zoning, while medical, dental or chiropractor offices and clinics are allowed under CN zoning. The dialysis clinic that was torn down on this site nearly a decade ago, was grandfathered in as a non-conforming use under the current CCG-2 zoning. Ever since the previous building was removed, any new structures would no longer be ‘grandfathered in’ and subsequently need to conform to the current uses allowed.
The clinic would be open from 6:30am through 5:00pm Monday through Saturday and employ between 15 and 20 staff members. The application indicates that construction of the project would take approximately 9 months to complete, and would start immediately upon obtaining all City approvals.
Images courtesy of the Downtown Development Review Board