Board grants permission for ARC office expansion

The city Zoning Hearing Board recently approved the proposed expansion of the ARC Federal Credit Union’s main office on the 1900 block of Seventh Avenue.

The current building footprint actually exceeds the 5,000-square-foot maximum in that zone by 300 feet, while the expansion would add 3,000 more.

The credit union needs more space because it has grown and needs more employees to comply with federal requirements, said Chief Operating Officer Steve Dalecki.

The expansion would add a training room and increase the size of the office and board room, leading to an increase in efficiency, according to Dalecki.

The credit union looked at buying another building, creating a third location — it also has a branch at 419 N. Seventh St. — but decided it was better to enlarge the main structure that has been familiar to customers for 60 years, Dalecki said.

The expansion wouldn’t generate an increase in traffic, Dalecki said.

It would eliminate two or three parking spaces, but there would be plenty of parking left, he said.

The expansion will cut off access to the drive-thru lanes from inside the parking lot, eliminating the potential for conflict between cars entering those lanes from Seventh Avenue and cars entering from the lot, according to consulting engineer Stephanie Shoenfelt of Keller Engineers.

Asked by a board member whether the new configuration could lead to the stacking of cars on Seventh Avenue, Dalecki said he didn’t think so.

Such stacking may have been a problem years ago under the current configuration, but the number of drive-thru users has been decreasing, he indicated.

There are three service lanes and a pass-through, he said.

The board also approved a special exception for off-site parking for the newly renovated Elizabeth Apartments at Union and Broad avenues.

The on-site lot for the triangular complex in a light industrial zone has only nine spaces and the building needs at least 20 — one for each apartment, according to architect Patrick Baechle, a consultant to property manager Laura Wray.

With the new lot, there will be 34 total spaces, two more than there are bedrooms in the building, Wray said.

There are no structures on the new parking lot, which is also triangular, located at the intersection of Union and Beale avenues.

The lot’s northern tip is across Union Avenue from the southern tip of the Elizabeth building.

Creating the new lot won’t have a deleterious effect on the neighborhood, especially given that it’s an industrial area, Baechle said.

Mirror Staff Writer William Kibler is at 949-7038.