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East Wash apartment plan has creative use for old Quonset hut

East Wash apartment plan has creative use for old Quonset hut

Calling it a "hidden gem," McGrath Property Group is looking to convert a worn Quonset hut building on East Washington Avenue into a cool workplace or restaurant space as part of a 76-unit apartment project dubbed Few Street Lofts.

The building at 1212 E. Washington Ave. currently houses Patriot Glass but developers are looking to remove the front façade to expose the barrel-vault structure behind it.

While the exact use of the corrugated metal building, which currently has a brick facade, has not been determined, project architect Joseph Lee says it would offer “a striking appearance” and serve as “a great space for office, retail, restaurant or a bar.”

The rest of the project, which is before the city Urban Design Commission on Wednesday, consists of a four-story building at the corner of East Wash and Few Street with 1,230 square feet of ground level commercial space. About 70 parking spaces are provided underneath.

In addition to removing the brick front of the Patriot Glass building, the project calls for razing two used automobile dealerships along East Washington.

The site is two blocks east of where Stone House Development and Frank Productions were proposing a larger mixed-use project that included a music venue. That plan is back to the drawing board after city planners sided with neighbors opposed to the development over noise and parking concerns.

The developers have met with the Tenney-Lapham Neighborhood Association along with Ald. Ledell Zellers and city staff and are looking to start construction in May if all approvals can be secured. Occupancy is planned for spring 2016.