A video-enabled sign will likely soon occupy sidewalk space at the front of the Gateway plaza, though the most recent proposal was tabled.
The sign, as proposed at the University Area Review Board Meeting on Thursday, would replace a lamppost on High Street between West Ninth and 11th avenues, near restaurant Mad Mex and the Gateway Film Center, upon approval by the board. It would be designed to provide advertising for businesses less visible from High Street.
The review board did not adopt proposal’s current dimensions, though it has previously approved a video sign at the location.
“The purpose of this is so that it gives messaging and activity to the tenants back in the alley,” said Dan Hanes, chairman of The Center for Architecture and Design, the group behind the project.
Thursday’s proposal was a 28-foot-tall, three-sided structure housing two seven-foot-wide video screens and a backlit still image, which board members said was too large.
“The notion of advertising, of promoting the businesses, that’s appropriate,” said University Area Review Board member Pasquale Grado. “The scale of this proposal is inappropriate.”
Another board member was more blunt.
“As (this proposal) sits, I think it’s ungainly,” Frank Petruziello said.
The Center for Architecture and Design created the proposal for Campus Partners for Community Urban Redevelopment and Steiner and Associates, property and marketing managers for Gateway.
The review board did not adopt the exact proposal, though it has previously approved a video sign at the location.
Members of the board suggested changes to the sign proposal such as redesigning the circular top and making it smaller overall.
“We appreciate the feedback provided by the UARB on our recent application for signage at Gateway, which will be taken into account as our architect modifies the design and we prepare to resubmit the application,” Beau Arnason, executive vice president of asset management for Steiner and Associates, said in an email.
Lauren Larkin, store manager of Fig Leaf Boutique at Gateway said she thought the sign was a good idea for appealing to street traffic, although the shop, which opened Aug. 25, already puts up its own sandwich board sign in the alley entrance.
Larkin also said the size of Thursday’s proposal might be inappropriate.
“That seems a little big,” she said. “I could definitely see something smaller.”