North Williams project tries to find middle ground

Growing up is hard to do, especially when it comes to neighborhoods and development.

Ruben J. Menashe Inc. wants to break ground in June on a 76-unit, 78,000-square-foot multifamily apartment on North Williams Avenue. The developer is striving for a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design gold rating, and plans to include 108 bike parking spaces as well as an automated car-stacking system able to accommodate 62 vehicles.

But even though the company and neighborhood residents have spent the past year trying to compromise on aspects of the project, some people remain concerned that the building won’t fit in with the single-family profile of the area. …Jack Menashe, president of Ruben J. Menashe, said his company has revised and downgraded it’s plans more than once based on neighborhood comments. …Menashe says his company took the building back down to four stories with 76 units, and then tried to stair-step the building at the corners that were closest to the street.

…The Mason-Williams will fulfill the city’s employment goal with approximately 6,900-square-feet of retail and commercial space on the ground floor. Jack Menashe, the building’s automated car-stacking feature is one of the highlights of the project. “It’s extremely efficient without having to dig a big hole,” he said. “It requires less construction, it’s more environmentally friendly (and) it’s an excellent solution to the parking woes…you can leave your car there if you ride your bike to work or use transit. Lots of people still have cars, but they may not use them everyday.”