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Malta Town Council mulls growth

Keenly aware of the need for a cohesive, connected downtown, Malta Town Council members carefully reviewed proposals for two developments Monday night, Feb. 4.

Both projects call for a mix of retail, commercial and housing units. The first project, called Park Place, was outlined by developer John Gay. Original plans for the 238 condominium units, 60 single-family homes and 115,000 square feet of commercial space were approved by the Town Council in 2004. In recent months, developers have proposed some changes to the original plan, including placing some parking indoors to increase green space, carving out courtyards with walkways into a centralized park area, and giving the buildings a Colonial style. The update to the plan also calls for adding two garages per unit in structures beneath the buildings, which would elevate the height, but keep outdoor blacktopped parking lots to a minimum.

Gay assured the board the buildings would not be an eyesore.

These are very attractive buildings, said Gay. "The exterior colors will stay neutral. No one can paint one bright orange and the next neighbor paint chartreuse."

The housing units were designed to allow older adults to live on the ground floor and move easily in and out of their homes. Plans also call for porches, balconies and a clubhouse with a covered pool.

"This project will be a neighborhood within the downtown area of Malta," said Gay.

Although there will be an interior elevator, audience members at the presentation questioned the size of it.

"The Malta Ambulance Corps asked that all elevators be large enough to put a gurney in there," said Donna Gizzi, former Town Council member. "It may already be a code requirement."

Gay said while the elevator would be large enough for residents to move furniture in and out, accommodations for emergency equipment would need to be worked out.

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