Pointe Gets Variances

Now known as ‘Just the Pointe,’ the housing development planned for Main Street Blythewood was granted 16 variances by the BAR this week.

Now known as ‘Just the Pointe,’ the housing development planned for Main Street Blythewood was granted 16 variances by the BAR this week.

BLYTHEWOOD (Jan. 28, 2016) – After the Board of Architecture Review unanimously approved a Certificate of Appropriateness (COA) last week for The Pointe, a 56-unit apartment complex proposed for Main Street in downtown Blythewood, the Richland County 9-1-1 addressing system required that the project’s official name to be changed to Just the Pointe since a nearby street is named Blythewood Pointe.

Prior to granting the COA to the project, the BAR unanimously granted the developer, Prestwick Development LLC, 16 variances, including a request to omit the Town’s requirement that principal building facades provide a stoop or porch with a minimum height of 24-inches for all first-floor residential units. The Board did not omit the height requirement, but amended it to allow Prestwick to lower the height of the stoops on the principal building to 12 inches. The Board also allowed Prestwick to lower the required 48-inch elevation height on the building.

The developers of the project told the Board last November they planned to install a chain-link fence on two sides and back of the property. At the December meeting the Board asked that the fence be changed to a wrought iron or similar decorative material. But at the January meeting, the project’s architect, Robert Byington, told the Board the owner had decided not to install a fence at all since one was not required by code.

There was, however, some give and take between the Board and Prestwick in the finished design.

“We wanted the developer to upgrade the building to be more than what was proposed,” Board chairman Michael Langston told The Voice following the December meeting. “I’ve been on the phone to them the last couple of weeks to get them (Prestwick) to come up to our codes instead of us giving them variances. They have met us about half way.”

At that meeting, the Board negotiated for Prestwick to add several design changes to the window and entrance openings on the principal building to provide for a more upscale appearance on the street side.

No one signed up to address the architectural requirements during public comment time on Tuesday evening. A representative of the company said he expected that the project is on track for completion by the end of the year.