Criticism of plans for the 100 block of State Street appears to be having an effect. Developers have begun making changes and are delaying their timetable to submit applications.
Jerome Frautschi and Pleasant Rowland - the Overture Center benefactors who are proposing the project - want to demolish half of the 100 block and replace it with an office building and private plaza facing the Overture Center across Fairchild Street. The faades on State Street would be reconstructed.
They had originally hoped to submit applications to the city by Nov. 30 and begin construction in the spring. But the project has already faced harsh criticism from city staff, preservationists and city committees. Plans will not be submitted until Jan. 18 at the earliest, says George Austin, the project manager.
And they have decided to make at least one significant change, preserving - rather than reconstructing - the faade of the Castle & Doyle Building, 125 State St., one of two historic landmarks slated to be razed.
The developers will hold another neighborhood meeting in early January, Austin says. "The timeline is elongated a bit, but I think for good reason. The project team continues to take into consideration the feedback we've received."
That does not mean, however, that they are drastically rethinking the project, Austin says. "It would be premature to suggest that."
Stu Levitan, chairman of the Landmarks Commission, says he's pleased to see some movement from the developers. "I have no interest in going through another bruising fight.
"I'd love to see a project the Landmarks Commission can support," Levitan adds. "There is a sweetspot that respects our history, the landmarks ordinance, and provides for economic development."