In an interview with me, Ald. Mike Verveer said he could not make a prediction on the prospects of the Edgewater renovation that was rejected by the Council Landmarks Commission on Monday. However, Verveer noted that there was a circle of Council members, including Council President Tim Brueur, President pro tempore Mark Clear, and Ald. Bridget Maniaci, who have been working with the mayor and potential Edgewater developer Bob Dunn to get the project approved.
According to Verveer, Brueur and Clear – neither of whom have districts near the Edgewater – have become the mayor’s point men on getting the project approved. Maniaci, whose district does cover parts of the concerned neighborhood, has cited support from her constituents as the reason for her voting to approve the renovation. As of this time, Maniaci has not responded to an email in which I asked her if she believed the project would be moving forward.
Verveer is reluctant to override the Landmarks Commission’s rejection of the renovation plan. “Never in 30 years has a certificate from the Landmarks Commission been overturned. I have a hard time believing the Council, in all its wisdom, should overturn the decision made by the experts on Landmarks,” he told me. In addition, he cited historical preservation as a priority. However, he emphasized his hope that the project would live on, and that it would change its plan to fit the expectations of the commission.
Dunn has until noon tomorrow to decide whether he wants to try and push the project through the Council. Bruer says he believes the project is dead.
Meanwhile, the mayor is strongly urging the Council to resurrect the renovation, emphasizing the public amenities (the improved lake view), the job opportunities and the tax revenue. On his blog he criticized the commission’s interpretation of the zoning restrictions on height.