| | | | | |

Fort Willow Development


Please see this presentation from Fort Willow Developers for drawings and further details about the project.

Summary: A meeting was held on April 27, 2015 at the National Robotics center on the Fort Willow development project. Over 60 people were in attendance and the architect, principal, and a traffic engineer presented the designs for the project.


Phase 1 will consist of a 191-unit apartment building that will be set back 25-29 feet from Willow Street. Only half of the former Interlocking Deck Systems property will be developed during this phase, and a parklet that will be available to the public is planned for the front of the building on Willow.

Variances Requested: An 8ft. variance is requested for the setback requirement for the majority of the building, with an 18ft. variance requested for the section closest to Willow St., and a 2ft. variance requested for the back of the building.

Timeline: Plans call for demolition to begin July 2015, foundation preparation to occur in October or November 2015, with phase 1 completion scheduled for May or June 2017.

Public Access: The Bay 4 connector will remain in place, but be stripped of siding and roofing, to leave exposed steel beams with an unobstructed view of the river looking down 41st Street. This space will be open to the public as a pedestrian walkway, but will be owned by Fort Willow Developers.

Historical Design: The design of the apartment building is intended to reflect the industrial history of the site and of Lawrenceville.

Truck Loading: Truck loading will take place in the back in under-building parking lot.

Trash Storage: Trash will be stored internally at the back of the building.

Public Transportation: To meet the demands of increased public transportation ridership, LU and LC will work with Councilwoman Gross to demand more frequency and stop options for residents as needed. Councilwoman Gross also mentioned that alternatives can be pursued, such as developing a bike path downtown in advance of more large-scale development plans.

Affordability: Fort Willow Developers are not pursing affordable housing funding. There will be 550 sq. ft micro-units and 750 sq ft. studios available, which will be less expensive than larger units.

Parking: There will be a 153 parking spaces for the building– 50 under the building, 103 in a parking lot adjacent to the apartments. This number of parking spaces is in excess of city requirements. There is currently a 40-car parking lot also owned by Fort Willow Developers, at 40th and Willow. This lot could be used on a temporary basis if needed, but may be part of a later phase of development.

Mixed Use: No retail units have been planned for the development, and phase 1 will be entirely residential.

From the Q&A segment:                          

The parking lot will not be screened with a fence, but it will be densely planted.

The building at Willow and 41st (currently used as the office of Alex Simakis) will not be included in the development for now.

Fort Willow Developers have been working with a traffic engineer and the Department of Public Works to address the impact of construction of the site on the roads.

There was a zoning board meeting for the project scheduled for June 4, 2015.


A community meeting has been scheduled for April 27 at 6:30 p.m. at the National Robotics Engineering Center at 10 40th Street. Flyers will be distributed to residents living nearby the site, but as always, any member of the Lawrenceville community is welcome to attend to hear updates and submit questions and concerns.


Alex Simakis, owner of a five-acre site that includes a 120.000 sq. ft. industrial building at 40th/ Willow. convened a meeting on November 17, 2014 at the Ice House with those residents and property owners closest to the site.  Mr. Simakis is working with Rothschild Doyno Collaborative to design a strategy to redevelop the property.  Mr. Simakis and his team presented conceptual ideas to those directly adjacent neighbors and residents and property owners raised questions, concerns, and shared some of the history and stories of that site. Some of the ideas include preserving the history of the site,establishing a public corridor that would reconnect 41st Street with the site, and would add commercial and residential development.   This was the first of many community conversations regarding the site. Mr. Simakis will be bringing a Traffic Engineer on board to asses the conditions of the site as well.  Mr Simakis expects to develop the plan and concepts over the next year with construction to possibly begin in 2016. Stay tuned for the next meeting!

Similar Posts