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Council OKs condo permits

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The Fredericksburg City Council Tuesday night approved permits for the One Hanover downtown condominium project.

One Hanover is a planned 64,000-square-foot building at the intersection of Hanover and Sophia streets, diagonally across from Shiloh Baptist Church (Old Site).

The five-story building would have 18 riverfront condos, each with a private elevator.

There would be enough parking on the lower level for at least two spots per residence, as well as a 2,600-square-foot commercial retail space on the ground level along Hanover.

On the top level would be a community room for residents.

The planned building, which Mike Adams and Tommy Mitchell are developing together, is 56 feet high.

It needs a special-exception permit for being taller than the city’s 50-foot limit, and special-use permits for construction in the 100-year floodplain and exceeding the site coverage limit under its zoning classification.

The council approved all three permits Tuesday.

The council voted unanimously for the special-use permit that allows the building to be built in the floodplain.

Council members Bea Paolucci and Matt Kelly voted against the special-use permit that allows the building to exceed the site coverage limit, and the special- exception permit that allows it to be built higher than the city’s height limit.

Adams and Mitchell hope to start construction late this fall and have it completed by the end of 2014.

Council members raised concerns over the height and location of the proposed condos—having such a large building in the historic district and in that spot.

Members of the Shiloh church have worried that One Hanover could lead to a parking crunch in that area.

The estimated assessed value of One Hanover following construction would be about $20 million, which would mean $148,000 in annual real estate tax revenue for the city.

That’s about $137,300 more than the property is currently bringing to the city in the form of real estate taxes.

Both the city staff and the planning commission recommended approval for the project to move forward.

Mitchell spoke during the public comment portion of the meeting.

He spoke positively about the impact the park will have on the city’s cultural life.

And he said the One Hanover building will contribute to a “renaissance” on Sophia Street.

Mitchell also told the council that he’ll offer a contribution of up to $148,000 toward the development of Riverfront Park, which is not far from where the condos will be built.

Robyn Sidersky: 540/374-5413