Letter: Zero Place development going all out for New Paltz

Rendering of Mulberry Plaza.

In response to concerns expressed by the New Paltz Village Planning Board and members of the public, the Zero Place team took the past three months to redesign aspects of the building and site and add key features of interest to the community. As always, the Zero Place team remains committed to a project that requests no variances and will attain the highest levels of energy efficiency and sustainability.

 

Here’s a short list of changes:

Public Amenities

1. Developed a “Mulberry Plaza” along Mulberry Street, newly freed up from an 18-foot pull-back of the building. The plaza includes a public sculpture area with surrounding sitting wall, a permeable paved area with benches and sitting wall and new trees and landscaping. The sculpture pedestal will feature the works of local artists.

2. Created three interior public restrooms accessible to the public and Wallkill Valley Rail Trail users. Supportive of transgender concerns and expressing solidarity with New Paltz High School and our diverse community, the Zero Place team added a third gender-neutral restroom.

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3. Greatly expanded landscaping around virtually the entire perimeter of Zero Place, further shielding the parking lot and enhancing the streetscapes.

 

Road Safety and Bicycle/Pedestrian

4. Embracing a ‘complete streets’ ethic, added broad six-foot bike lanes along Mulberry Street and 32 North to complement the expanded sidewalks that feature sitting walls, street trees, bike racks and historically inspired street lamps.

5. Previously moved the loading dock from Mulberry Street to within the northern parking lot.

6. Previously added curb ‘bump outs’ along the parallel parking area on 32 North, ensuring a clearly demarcated area safer to bike and car traffic.

7. Extended sidewalks along Mulberry Street and 32 North to form a continuous pedestrian access from the Wallkill Valley Rail Trail, around Zero Place and north to the Mill Brook overpass on 32 North.

 

Accessibility

8. Added four ground-floor apartments, providing ease of access to disabled and elderly residents.

9. Replaced five head-in parking spaces on Mulberry Street with two parallel parking spaces for people with disabilities, providing greater accessibility to the retail stores on the south end of the building.

 

The Building

10. Reduced the length of the building 11% and the footprint by 10%, effectively removing the equivalent of eight one-bedroom apartments.

11. Reduced the total number of residential units from 48 to 46.

12. Reduced the retail space by 43%.

13. Previously reduced the visual height of the building by five feet.

14. Previously moved the roof terrace away from the west side of the building and to the east along Route 32 North.

15. With input from the Village Historical Preservation Commission, enhanced design, layout and material choices for the windows, removed the balconies, added roof brackets and more.

— David Shepler and the Zero Place Team

There are 3 comments

  1. Highly Irritated Old Timer

    Insulting. Disrespectful. Arrogant. Frankly, stupid. The behavior of New Paltz and the deeply disturbing
    refusal to encourage growth, collaborate with those trying to open or build anew here should be scaring the heck out of local residents. Every time your residential property taxes increase and you bellow that it’s wrong remember this — Zero Place, CVS, Five Guys, the killed SUNY Dorm proposal, Wildbury Lodge, the critical Bus Station — all would have created several hundred new jobs, millions in new tax revenue, new services and healthy competiton.

    New Paltz seems to be paralyzed in its ability to steward projects from concept to completion. New Paltz is obstructing the rights to build on property owned by others. New Paltz is in total denial about how an
    economy works. New Paltz is rapidly getting a reputation as a place NOT to do business, and in the coming years it will hurt every single resident here because you will find yourself having to drive to Poughkeepsie or Kingston for goods and services. Of course, we don’t want over-development and massive sprawl – non of the projects this town is destroying do that. They are all within our existing boundaries and our primary commercial streets. We need to change the mindset here and start to work WITH not AGAINST developers.

    The ‘fraud’ in all of this is the talk by the town of ‘aesthetic’ and ‘standards’ for new proposals, the rationale behind moratoriums and post ponements is just that – a manipulative form of fraud by the town.

    I can list just about every block in town along Main Street and Rt. 32 that has dilapidated buildings, owners not keeping up property, abandoned properties, junk signage, unused surface parking, poor sidewalks, bad lighting, no landscaping…so the argument the town and nimby’s make makes NO sense. They argue about ‘good’ development vs. ‘bad’, yet the ignore just how rag-tag so many properties are. If we are to believe the town arguments then we would be holding existing property and business owners to the same exceptionally high standards that we are heaping on development proposals.

    We aren’t.

    So I call B.S. on the whole process that New Paltz seems to be creating as it goes along. Let’s play fair kids…new opportunities WILL STOP COMING HERE sooner than you think.

  2. Cancer Fighter

    I give this project a zero. We should kick out of office every politician who supports this massive four-story housing development eyesore that is totally out character with surrounding town and village housing. I am for community “growth,” but not all growth is good. Cancer is also a growth.

  3. Localgal

    I COMPLETELY agree with “Old Timer!!” This village could be soooo much more by offering soooo much more…but alas….we have a board that wants only what it has seen before.

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