At tonight’s TNT meeting, Mr. Tino Marcoccia and his architect, Mr. Michael Wolniak, presented plans for developing the parcel of land at the southwest corner of Midler Ave and James St in Eastwood. Currently, only one small building, Kristen’s Ice Cream, is located there. The pizza shop on James St. is also part of the parcel to be developed. Approximately 45 residents were in attendance, along with the usual representatives of city government and the police force.
To be brief, the proposal is for a Sunoco gas station with its usual A-Plus convenience store, plus space for three more businesses. Mr. Wolniak assured the audience that they had, over the years, tried out a variety of ways to site the buildings. Limited by the requirements of Sunoco to make the signs and the pumps visible, the businesses can’t front onto James St.
Some concerns were raised, among them the feasibility of having two gas stations within a quarter mile of each other. One person said, “We’ll end up with an empty gas station,” in reference to the Mobil Station, “instead of an empty lot.” Others were concerned about the new traffic patterns created by two entrances from James St. One already exists but is not used, and the other, even closer to Midler, would be the largest one and would be new.
Mr. Wolniak said that a traffic study has been done that indicates that 35,000 cars per day go by on James St. and 19,000 per day on Midler. However, no traffic study focused on the new use of curb cuts on James has been done yet. It was indicated that there is a tenant lined up for the convenience store but not for the other three shops.
Common Councilor Kathleen Joy pointed out that there will be many more opportunities for public input, since they will need a special permit for the gas station and waivers of the design guidelines.