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Proposed townhouses could relieve pain point at 12th and Lombard

While the residential neighborhood around it has taken off, the intersection of 12th and Lombard has found itself caught in the chokehold of The Pain Center.  The Pain Center was a medical facility recently shut down after a grand jury investigation revealed the doctors had been defrauding insurance companies out of $5 million. Yet, a local developer seems to have some non-painful news for the area, as he hopes to convert the facility into six townhouses. 

The community seems intrigued by developer Virgil Procaccino’s preliminary plans to tear down The Pain Center and build single-family units, says David Fante, VP for planning and development at the Washington Square West Civic Association (WSWCA).  Fante reports that Procaccino went in front of the civic association’s Zoning and Governmental Affairs committee in early March with some plans. The committee seems impressed. The "townhouses are well-designed, attractive, and in keeping with the residential scale of the neighborhood," says Fante.

While WSWCA’s committee was generally excited about Procaccino’s plans, they did have a few recommendations. Fante says they felt as though the developer should reduce the building’s height in accordance with the city’s new zoning code and offer a gate to provide access to the complex’s proposed parking lot. Fante is happy to say that the developer seems ready to accept the recommendations. 

Fante and other members of the civic association are breathing a sigh of relief that something will be done with The Pain Center. Fante complains about the drug-dealing and prostitution that have moved to 12th and Lombard in the wake of the building’s closure.  Also, he sees litter and a lack of activity in front of the building as problems. Fante adds that new residential would lead to enhanced street lighting and increase the neighborhood’s density, which he sees as a good thing. 

If you have an opinion on The Pain Center re-development, make sure to attend a future WSWCA meeting.  The Zoning and Governmental Affairs Committee meets the fourth Tuesday of every month at Jefferson University, while the overall Board meets the second Tuesday of every month in the same location.   

Writer: Andy Sharpe
Source: David Fante, Washington Square West Civic Association
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