Better, but still not appropriate

Published 11:08 am Tuesday, March 13, 2018

It’s commendable to see Robert “Bobby” Martin and his wife, Sherry, listening to the community and working to build student housing that lies well within zoning requirements, changing an original 195-bed complex to a 30-bed complex, but we still disagree with the aspect of putting a student housing complex there, even if it does work to blend in better with houses in the historic district.

“What this design shows is 10 doors, three beds per door, and what they are, they’ll be a two-story flat,” architect Mike Kelley said at the March 7 Farmville Town Council meeting. “It’s kind of a courtyard effect is really what we try to create. So the two buildings will face one another, and then we build two townhouses because of the number we count to make it balanced.”

Kelley also said there will be a recreational area, which remains undefined. Kelley said he was “100 percent open” for comments regarding design.

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This is a departure from the Martins’ previous request in constructing a 95,000-square-foot, five-story student housing complex that can accommodate up to 195 people by tearing down four historic homes that currently house only a handful of people.

Just because a building aims to look historic does not mean that it is in fact historic. This is what we take issue with most. No matter what building is erected in place of the current historic homes, it will lack the character that is of utmost importance to the historical area. It will lack a past, and instead, contribute to a commercial eyesore in its place.