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TUESDAY, MAY 15, 2001

Ross Bianco wants to be a good neighbor while renovating the former Safeway Scaffolding building at 2516 Jane Street for his architectural business. In South Side being a good neighbor often means supplying parking for employees, tenants and customers.

Bianco, in the middle of a $2.7 million project to renovate the building into 28,000 square feet of general office space, came before the South Side Planning Forum to present his plans for the building. He said although the building won't be ready for occu­pancy until October, he already has commitments to lease half the office space.

The architect said the city zoning code requires 42 parking spaces for the size of the building, but he didn't consider the number great enough. Instead, Bianco negotiated with the owner's of Angel's on Josephine Street for the use of 50 parking spaces weekdays from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., with the possibility of adding spaces later if needed.

Moreover, he has arranged for additional spaces behind an old mill on 26th Street for which he plans to make improvements to the lot, including lighting and landscaping. Forum member rep­resentatives questioned Bianco whether employees and tenants would use the lots.

"For what we're paying for them in rent, we'll make sure some­one will park there," he answered. "We're going to keep all the parking off the streets initially, except for visitors."

Bianco also plans to offer neighbors in the area the use of his excess parking spaces on street cleaning days in South Side. Neighbors will be able to get a parking permit from the company to use the lots while the streets are being cleaned.

He said they negotiated a five-year lease, with an additional five-year option, to use the parking lot on Josephine

Street. They will also be able to add spaces to the lease in groups of 20 as needed.

"I think it's a pretty good plan for property that can't be used for anything but parking," he said.

The architect also told the forum all the lighting for the park­ing lots will be placed on timers so the lights will not be shining

in neighbors homes when they aren't in use.

The company has a hearing on May 31 before the Zoning Board of Adjustment concerning parking and plans to apply for a build­ing permit the day after. As part of the renovation of the building, Bianco plans to completely restore the historic red brick of the building and add new entrances to the front and rear of the build­ing leading to an interior atrium.


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