May 23, 2012
The Midland Planning Commission recommended approval of plans for the proposed Stadium District building across from Dow Diamond on Tuesday. Midland Downtown Partners has proposed the 224,255-square-foot, four story building at 215 State St., 608 E. Ellsworth, 614 E. Larkin St. and 709 E. Larkin St. It would have frontage on Main and State streets and it would house offices, restaurants, a wellness center and medical offices.
The site plan submitted by the developers is the first to test the city’s new downtown overlay zoning district, and the planning commission decided it might need to tweak some of the requirements to accommodate a larger facility than was expected. Among them is a requirement that all flat-roofed buildings have decorative cornices.
Scott Bonney, associate/design director with Neumann/Smith Architects, said the intent of the ordinance was likely to provide a variety of building characters. He said designers used different heights and materials to vary the facade of the proposed building, with some spots having tall, elaborate cornices and others having a capstone on top.
“We were trying to take the energy and put it in special spots to create a feature,” he said.
Bonney also hoped a light fixture that casts a glow at the base of the building would be approved, even though it is not currently allowed. The commission expects to review the cornice and light standards, but approved the developers’ plans with the condition that they be changed to meet the current ordinance if the standards aren’t changed.
“I think all of us look at that and think it looks nice,” Commissioner Ray Senesac said. “We just have a shortcoming in the ordinance and the ordinance doesn’t allow that today.”