About SPNA

The Sylvan Park Neighborhood Association (SPNA) is the collective community voice for addressing neighborhood issues such as zoning, security, beautification, traffic, metropolitan services, and environment.

SPNA members meet on the second Monday of each month at 7 p.m. in the Senior Renaissance Center of Cohn Adult Learning Center at 4805 Park Avenue.

About Sylvan Park

Welcome to Sylvan Park! We hope you love this neighborhood as much as we do. Take a look at our Frequently Asked Questions for newcomers to learn more.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Big changes on the way for Richland-West End

Today's City Paper has a story regarding possible future development for the Free Will Baptist Bible College (fast facts) property next door to Sylvan Park in the Richland-West End neighborhood. The development is likely to permanently change the neighborhood, although it's important to consider that any development other than the college remaining on its campus is going to have a substantial impact:
Perhaps in anticipation of neighborhood concern, a developer with a contract pending to buy the nine-plus-acre Free Will Baptist Bible College campus, has drawn up two plans for developing the high-profile site and is asking the local neighborhood association to take its pick.

Darren Cioffi confirmed yesterday plans to purchase the West End property near Interstate 440 for $16.75 million later this year. Cioffi said his company, Monument Property, Inc., and the other developers to whom he will later resell some of the land, will likely develop between $60-$100 million in housing on the campus, situated in the Richland West End neighborhood, where historic, single-family homes sell starting at about $700,000.

Last month, Cioffi sought the association’s support for rezoning the property, which is couched between Richland Avenue to the northwest and West End Avenue — across from Elmington Park — a move he said will allow him to preserve and restore four historic homes the college owns on West End. Without the rezoning, which would allow Cioffi to build some condominiums in existing buildings along Richland Avenue, he said he likely will sell the West End houses to other developers, who could demolish them and replace them with condominiums.

The rezoning, to a “Specific Plan” land use, would allow Cioffi to pad the Richland Avenue side of the property with a higher-than-now-allowed residential density, allowing him to build the condominiums he wants and to compensate for the money to be lost by saving the four West End Avenue homes and, also, a park the college owns at the corner of Richland and Craighead avenues.
These changes may not have an immediate effect on Sylvan Park, but they could lead to increased use of Bowling Avenue to access Murphy Road. Then again, in my personal opinion, several buildings on the campus stand out as inconsistent compared with the historic homes surrounding the campus, so homes built to match those styles may be an improvement. What do you think?

By the way, FWBBC voted last summer to relocate to a to-be-determined location no later than the fall of 1998.

Monument Property offers few details beyond this sales description regarding the property on its Web site: We are in the process of acquiring and developing the FWBBC campus on West End. A number of historic homes and many prime building lots on Richland Avenue and West End Avenue will be available. Please contact us if you are interested in a piece of this once-in-a-lifetime real estate opportunity. [Image: FWBBC]

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