When the F2 Cos. last year proposed a residential project for the property at 2015 W. Fifth Ave. in Marble Cliff, the developer's intention was to demolish the Frank Packard-designed mansion and place 67 apartment units on the site.

But when F2 partner Michael Fite presented the project's revised preliminary development plan to Village Council members March 11, he described the revised plan as "an attempt to celebrate the house we are now saving."

The scope of the project also has evolved, from 67 apartment units as originally proposed to 37, including four units within the Packard house.

"The evolution of this plan has been a good evolution," Fite said.

"We believe it's a better plan today" than in its original incarnation, he said.

That original idea was roundly derided by village residents early last year before being unanimously shot down by council members.

The working name for the updated project is the Packard at Marble Cliff to recognize and honor the famed architect who designed the mansion, Fite said.

Council on March 11 held the first reading of an ordinance to approve a concept plan, preliminary development plan and rezoning of the 1.25-acre site to planned development district from its current central business district zoning.

The revised plan no longer includes the pair of three-story townhouse buildings the developer had planned to build facing Fifth Avenue.

Instead, the project would feature three components, Fite said.

The existing 110-year-old mansion will be renovated to feature three apartments on the second floor and a clubhouse on the first floor for all residents who live at the project, he said.

The clubhouse would feature a game room, juice bar, kitchen and fitness room, Fite said.

"Basically, everyone would own a part of the mansion" by having access to the clubhouse, he said.

A guest bedroom located on the first floor of the existing carriage house attached to the east side of the mansion would be available for guests of residents who are staying overnight, Fite said.

Behind the mansion, a three-story apartment building would have 30 one- and two-bedroom units over a semirecessed basement garage level, he said.

Three carriage-house buildings each would feature a single garden unit. Each carriage house would have three garage spaces.

A concept plan presented last August to council included a proposal for up to 40 total units, with four to six planned in the mansion, as well as eight townhouse units in the two buildings facing Fifth Avenue and 26 units in the apartment building behind the mansion.

Council is expected to hold a second reading of the development plan and rezoning ordinance at its April 15 meeting.

A public hearing will be held to allow residents to give their input and ask questions, Fiscal Officer Cindy McKay said, but it is still to be determined whether the hearing will be part of the regular council meeting or held separately on another date.

The developer may be asked to submit a final plan with more details for council approval, but council may decide it does not need to take that extra step, McKay said.

If a formal final plan is not requested, the remaining details for the project would be reviewed and approved administratively, she said.

In the preliminary development plan, the developer estimates it would take 18 to 24 months to complete the project once construction begins.

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