The proposal to construct a three-story apartment building on vacant land at Madison Street and Lyman is a pure win for neighbors and for the village. Approval should sail through and initial construction could begin this year.
What’s the appeal of this project from Ambrosia Homes? It isn’t Taco Bell. That’s a good start. The proposal for an all-hours, drive-thru-dominated fast-fooder rightly raised the hackles of residential neighbors last year when it was proposed and rapidly disposed of by the village board.
Now comes a proposal for 23 luxury rentals with a matching number of parking spots, no requests for financial subsidies from taxpayers and a single variance request — no first-floor retail — that already matches the village’s updated thinking on zoning on Madison.
Good work by neighbors in opposing the ill-suited fast food fit last year. And good work by village government in setting Madison Street up for a series of small successes. By concentrating the village’s direct development role on parcels largely owned by the village and focused from East Avenue to Home, there is hope for a large-scale commercial and residential project. And in stepping back from a retail-only focus running from Harlem to Austin, new zoning allows for pockets of residential development, such as this Ambrosia project and the townhomes coming at Madison and Home.