Can Company unveils renovation plans

Written by on June 5, 2013 in Featured, Neighborhood News - No comments

Canton's Can Company, built 15 years ago, is planning a 6.5 percent increase in total square footage. - Photo by Erik Zymont

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The Can Company, the mixed-use retail, restaurant, and office complex located at 2400 Boston St., unveiled plans to upgrade the complex at last week’s Canton Community Association meeting.

Tom Liebel, an architect with Marks-Thomas Architects; TaVida Rice, property manager for the Can Company; and Cobber Eccles, a partner with Cross Street Partners, which manages the Can Company, gave a brief PowerPoint presentation to the meeting’s attendees, which included 30 community members as well as the 46th District Delegation: Del.

Luke Clippinger, Sen. Bill Ferguson, and Del. Pete Hammen.

“The Can Company was built 15 years ago, and it’s time for some sprucing up,” said Liebel.

The primary renovations will include a new entryway and a rooftop addition to the Signature building, which is located at Boston and Hudson streets, where the Can Company sign is.

“The total increase in square footage is 6.5 percent,” Liebel said.

In a later interview, Liebel explained that when the Can Company was built, its developer, Bill Struever, received historic tax credits, which often put limits on builders for a certain period of time. Historic tax credits are financial incentives for residential or commercial rehabilitation projects that require property owners to follow certain preservation standards.

“Now that those restrictions are gone, they can do what they originally intended,” he said.

One change will be a new entryway to the Signature Building.

“The current entryway lobby is too small,” said Liebel.

The current entryway is located between Langermann’s and what used to be the Field House.

Another change will be an approximately 11,000 square-foot addition to the fifth floor.

“The fifth floor has a great view. Years ago, the rooftop addition was not allowed. Now the building can have a more significant profile,” Liebel explained. “The overall goal is a clean and modern addition to a historic building. It will be lighter and glassier and allow for a dialog between old and new—new pieces that ‘talk’ to the existing building without trying to copy it.”

Liebel says the addition will be used for office space.

“I know that some community members were concerned with having another restaurant. It won’t be a restaurant. It will be office space,” he explained.

At last week’s meeting, most attendees seemed most concerned with the parking implications of any Can Company expansion.

When queried by meeting attendees, Eccles of Cross Street Partners, said that the Can Company has no plans to add additional parking, such as a garage, to the site.

“We have decided that we don’t think it’s practical to add a parking structure within the grounds,” he said.

Rice acknowledged that the Can Company employs approximately 1,000 employees and has only about 250 parking spaces, but that “not all work on site and not all work at the same time.”

She noted that the Can Company does have a parking management plan.

“We’re trying to get people who work at the Can Company out of their cars” and to use Zipcars, public transport, and bicycles, Rice said.

Rice also noted that the Can Company was working with Safeway to better utilize their space and that she anticipated a Canton Charm City Circulator route.

One meeting attendee asked Rice if the Can Company was trying to solve its “parking crunch” problem with bikes, Zipcars, and public transportation.

“If that’s the case, I suggest you hire only telecommuters,” the attendee advised.

by Danielle Sweeney

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