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Smith Street condos to receive CURA fašade grant

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Construction has begun on ParkView Lofts, the luxury condominiums that will occupy the old Kyle warehouse behind Appalachian Power Park in Charleston's East End, and the project will get a financial boost from a grant funded by the Charleston Urban Renewal Authority.

Bill Turner, one of the owners of Pison Development, which bought the warehouse earlier this summer, said they hope to have tenants moving in by the spring, a slight delay from initial estimates.

Turner said they started demolition on the interior about a week ago, knocking down walls and clearing space for new elevators and stairwells.

"We'd like to have the outside stuff -- windows, the facade, painting -- done before the weather turns cold," Turner said Wednesday.

The project, at 1214 and 1216 Smith St., is likely to receive a $40,000 facade grant from CURA, after Turner presented renovation plans at a CURA board meeting Wednesday morning.

Facade grants, which CURA gives out to help buildings update and modernize their exteriors, are capped at $5,000 per building. East End Main Street, which works with CURA to disburse grants on the East End, has asked for an increase in the maximum allowable grant to $20,000 per address.

The CURA board indicated it is likely to approve the increase at its next board meeting, pending some clarifications to the grant application process.

Ric Cavender, the director of East End Main Street, a group devoted to revitalizing and preserving the East End, called the Kyle project "precedent setting" and said they fully support it.

"CURA and Main Street are investing time and money and we want to make sure it aesthetically fits with the warehouse district," Cavender said.

Turner presented plans that would largely preserve the warehouse look of the buildings' exterior. The building at 1214 Smith St. is painted a brick red color, while 1216 is exposed brick.

The buildings will likely be painted the same brick red color.

Contractors will build and enlarge windows on the buildings' facades, but retain the inlaid brick "eyebrows" that crown the windows on 1214 Smith St.

The sides and rear of both buildings, which are windowless, will have windows added. Balconies will be added on the east side of 1216 Smith St., but not to 1214, because the adjacent property owner objected.

The first floor of both buildings will be retail space. Turner said they were in talks with a potential tenant for the retail space, but declined to say who the tenant was as the proposed deal was still preliminary.

The area surrounding the buildings will be a mix of parking and green space. There also will be green areas and potential gardens on the roof.

Each tenant will have an indoor garage, accessible to the building by an internal hallway.

Mark Miller, another co-owner of Pison Development, said they hope to have an "art area" in the building that would tie in with galleries in surrounding areas.

Miller mentioned Leo Kundas, a New York-based artist whose work has been licensed to appear on Barnes & Noble tote bags, as someone who they'd like to bring to Charleston to paint a mural, have an exhibition or have a studio space in the building.

Pison purchased the Kyle buildings earlier this summer for $625,000. Units in the buildings will start at $230,000.

To contact Pison Development, call 304-342-2766.

Reach David Gutman at david.gutman@wvgazette.com or 304-348-5119.

 


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