A new multistory, mixed-use building planned for Pullman’s downtown corridor cleared a regulatory hurdle Monday that will allow for 10 three-bedroom apartments in the building.

Called “Paradise Lofts,” the new building is proposed for the corner of Paradise and Daniel streets, southeast of Evolve on Main, where a sign for the Foundry restaurant now stands.

Pullman’s Board of Adjustment approved a conditional-use permit allowing the additional units during its meeting Monday. Planning Director Pete Dickinson said the building would be similar in nature to Evolve, featuring covered parking and commercial spaces below with residences above.

Dickinson said the permit approved Monday also included requests for variances that will allow for more compact parking than usual and for the building to stand three feet taller than the 60-foot limit imposed by code — or three feet higher than Evolve.

“The central issue is whether or not to allow them to have, basically, a doubling of the housing density there over what’s normally allowed by code,” Dickinson said.

Each of Paradise Loft’s 10 apartments would have three bedrooms, Dickinson said, and the building would include 28 parking spaces — 20 of which would be compact spaces. Typically a 28-stall parking lot would only be allowed seven compact spots, but the variance included in the request will allow developers to more than double that number. Dickinson said the building would likely be the tallest downtown. Even so, Dickinson said it is the opinion of city planning staff that the changes are feasible for the 5,400-square-foot lot.

“We’re seeing a trend in that regard for more mixed use downtown and we’re also seeing a huge uptick in the number of apartments that are being proposed,” Dickinson said. “This is an example of trying to meet both of those calls.”

Dickinson said it is common for the city to hear rumblings of interest in these kinds of mixed-use buildings. He said a recent proposal for four apartments on Kamiaken Street downtown also was approved for higher-than-normal housing density. He said Pullman is currently in the process of drafting a master plan for downtown with the aid of a consultant and he expects mixed-use structures to be included in the plan.

“Certainly the interest in mixed use downtown is one that has been in place for a long time — it’s part of both our comprehensive plan and our zoning code to allow for them,” Dickinson said. “Whether or not we allow for increased density is question and that needs to be decided on a case-by-case basis.”

Scott Jackson can be reached at (208) 883-4636, or by email to sjackson@dnews.com.

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