Officials study plans for redesigned tower

February 21, 1992|By Timothy J. Mullaney | Timothy J. Mullaney,Staff Writer

Developer Leonard Attman's latest plan for a 32-story office tower at Redwood and Charles streets downtown got a respectful hearing from city planning officials yesterday, but a final vote on the controversial tower is still months away.

The city Planning Commission listened as architects for the developer explained their latest plan, which abandons Mr. Attman's earlier bid to buy and close part of Redwood Street to allow the building to have more space on each floor.

The new plan calls for the building to extend over the sidewalk out to the curb line. The overhang would begin four stories above the street, supported by columns reaching from street level. The result would be a 388,000-square-foot building, 20 percent smaller than the one Mr. Attman originally proposed in November 1990.

"It's the same building; it's just skinnier," said Adam Gross, a partner in Ayers St. Gross, the project's architects.

Elijah E. Cummings, one of Mr. Attman's attorneys, said the revised plan was designed to avoid taking any of the Redwood Street roadbed while still providing floors big enough for the building to attract "Class A" tenants.

When the design is finished, the developers will be ready to press for city approval. City Planning Director Ernest Freeman said the needed approvals include City Council authorization to sell Mr. Attman the air rights to build over the sidewalk.

But Mr. Freeman was cautiously upbeat about the new plan. "The developer's submission represents a substantial improvement over earlier versions," he said.

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