The mixed-use development proposed behind the former Biddie's Coach House has shrunk considerably since its first inception in May, but the project has ained city approval.

Dublin's Architectural Review Board on March 22 with a 3-1 vote approved the site plan review for the project, which developer Peter Coratola said represents a $2.5 million investment.

The area slated for development is behind existing buildings at 76, 78 and 82 S. High St.

The properties are owned by CBS Garbey LLC. Coratola is a managing partner of the business.

David Meleca, a principal with project architect Meleca Architects LLC, said the building size probably decreased by about 50 percent since Coratola's initial proposal, with which Meleca was not involved.

The approved proposal consists of 8,828 square feet on 2 1/2 stories.

The building will house two office tenants and two residential condominiums.

Meleca said office tenants have not been identified yet.

A portion of the building will be underground, Meleca said.

The first floor will be office space, the second floor will be residential and office space and the third floor will be residential.

The original Biddie's building will be used as office space.

The project will have a total of 20 parking spots.

They include three dedicated spots along High Street, four residential spaces in two small parking garages and the remainder on a surface lot.

If construction begins in the fall as planned, the building should be ready for occupancy by spring of next year, Meleca said.

Jenny Rauch, Dublin planning manager, said all that's left for Coratola to do prior to construction is obtain building permits.

City Council will not have to approve the Biddie's project, she said.

Of the four ARB members, Jane Fox was the only one opposed to the proposed project.

Fox voted against the project and said the building was too large for the area in which it would be built.

Allowing a building of that size there, Fox said, would open the door to similar construction projects.

The result would be a slow creep of modern infill that would drastically change the character of the Historic Dublin district, she said.

"We are in the heart and soul of what's remaining in the historic core," she said.

Others expressed similar concerns.

Historic Dublin resident Steve Rudy said the substantial urbanization of the district is in conflict with existing zoning language for the Bridge Street corridor and the ARB's mission to protect the scale and character of the Historic District.

Tom Holton, president of the Dublin Historical Society, said the proposed structure's features and architecture don't blend in with Historic District buildings.

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