By JOANNE L. PAPAIANNI
The Cookman Avenue corridor has been getting taller in recent years and if a new project by Carter Sackman is approved by the city the additions he is proposing to an existing building will line up with them.
Sackman Enterprises has proposed adding three floors to what is known as the Barry Slott building at 574 Cookman Ave.
Attorney Andrew Karas said the building, which at one time housed a bank, is in disrepair but has “beautiful bones.”
Karas said the feasibility of Sackman Enterprises being able to fund renovation of the entire building is only possible with the addition of three floors of residential units, with seven units proposed on each floor. He said to bring the building back to its original grandeur will take “significant financial investment.”
Current regulations stipulate a maximum height of 45 feet, but Karas pointed out that several buildings in the Central Business District have been granted height variances, of 60 or 70 feet.
Originally, he said, plans called for 85 feet, but were amended to 70 feet.
Architect Alex Merlucci explained that the new addition will be modern in style, but will “relate in rhythm and architecture to the original building.”
“It will bring new life by adding a new piece to it,” he said.
Carter Sackman also spoke at the meeting saying, “I thought this one could be an iconic building. I know it’s different. I understand for some people they might like it, others might be whoa, that’s a whole historic building…contrasting that modern.”
But Sackman said the plans focus on what is historic, without trying to match it, which he said would be very difficult.
City Attorney Frederick Raffetto said City Planner Michele Alonso, who was on vacation, would need to review the height amendment.
Council agreed to have the proposal sent to the Planning Board for review of the amendments before sending the plans back to the council for final approval.