Neighborhood grocer part of downtown Milford development plan

44-64 River St. in Milford

44-64 River St. in Milford

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MILFORD — Efforts are underway to bring a neighborhood grocer to the city’s downtown, one piece of a larger proposed project.

A neighborhood grocer is one facet of the overall mixed-use building proposal for 44-64 River St. Robert Smith, executive managing director and managing member of Metro TOD LLC, recently shared details of the overall mixed-use building proposal for 44-64 River St. with the Planning and Zoning Board.

“The building has coastal-inspired architecture and features apartments, ground-floor retail and municipal spaces in the lower garage, forming a true mixed-use, commuter-centric community,” he told board members May 18.

Pete Smith of the Downtown River Development Committee said the MetroTOD proposal fits all the key requirements of the study. When he was appointed chairman of the committee from 2016-19, they were tasked to provide a transit-oriented district review to identify the best use of the parcel.

MetroStar purchased the building Smith referred to from the city with the added requirement of adding a municipal garage. Smith said the plan to add all the features came from researching transit-oriented-district planning as it applies to downtown Milford.

Ray Oliver, the architect of the project, said it would replace a mixed-use building with another mixed-use project.

Both PZB Chairman Jim Quish and member Robert Satti had questions about traffic. Quish asked whether there would be sidewalks for foot traffic, and Satti asked about traffic patterns for ingress and egress.

Answering Quish’s question, engineer Ron Wassmer said the grade prohibited the installation of a sidewalk without steps. To Satti, he said the current parallel parking spaces will be removed from the street to make it 25 feet wider.

Oliver said the garage layout includes an elevator, and handicapped and bicycle spaces, with the main entryway on River Street. Residential units will have access to a tenant fitness center on the opposite side of the tower side of the building.

“The at-grade floor plan features parking space available to stores and residences, a terrace and handicapped access on Darina Place,” said Oliver. “The terrace can be used for dining outdoors, and other large gatherings such as a farmers market or other activities.”

Board member Carl Moore asked whether there were spots available for electric vehicle charging or metered parking. He was advised that the city controls parking meters, and one electric vehicle charging station was planned with the provision to add more in the future.

The PZB approved the mixed-use building with the condition of providing a minimum of two charging stations on the property.