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Mixed-use building proposed near South Campus

The Taco Bell currently located at 1525 N. High St. is the proposed site of a new residential and retail space. Courtesy of David Ruma

The Taco Bell currently located at 1525 N. High St. is the proposed site of a new residential and retail space. Courtesy of David Ruma

A Taco Bell on South Campus could be demolished and recreated starting in fall 2016.

The Taco Bell currently located at 1525 N. High St. is the proposed site of a new residential and retail space, which could begin in 2016, said Skip Weiler, president of The Robert Weiler Company and one of the developers creating plans for the space.

The concept includes a mixed-use building, housing a Taco Bell with a walk-up window on the first floor and residential spaces above it. Weiler added that the proposed design includes 123 apartments.

“It is not nailed down, but it is the target,” he said.

Weiler said the University Area Review Board approved the concept designs and asked for finalized details when developers take the next step: turning in the application.

David Ruma of DCR Commercial Development LLC, along with the owners of the Taco Bell location, will be partnering to complete the project, said Weiler.

Weiler said he felt the addition has the potential to raise the value of the area.

“It’ll be high-end, very expensive, very nice,” Weiler said. “If you do something new and nice, it’s good for everybody. So, whether I do it or somebody else does it, that’s a good thing.”

The initial plans include a private parking garage, which Weiler said provides extra security.

“From city planning and developing, we encourage redevelopment of sites like this,” said Daniel Ferdelman, an urban designer and planner for the American Institute of Architects and UARB board member.

Despite this outlook, Ferdelman said the UARB was divided on the decision, with some board members saying there were too many bedrooms and insufficient parking.

The plans were reviewed on a conceptual basis and thus the application is not yet active, Ferdelman said. He added that a number of things could cause snags, like running out of funds.

He said the developers were encouraged to work with the the owner of the property to the north, where a former GetGo sits.

Weiler said there is no estimated cost of construction yet, but added that they hope to complete the project in time for students to move in before August 2017.

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