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City Extends Permit Fast-Track Program

Program Designs to Fill Commercial Vacancies Downtown

Paul Wellman (file)

City Hall is extending its accelerated permit program for downtown State Street, a corridor plagued by high rates of commercial vacancies. Since the program started in August, the vacancy rate has dropped from 11.1 percent to 9.1 percent. The goal is 5 percent. City staff also reported reductions of 30 percent and 38 percent in wait times for construction-plan turnaround and design-review approvals, respectively. Some developers remain frustrated by delays, however. Barrett Reed told the City Council his firm’s mixed-use retail project — submitted in May 2017 — is in its fourth round of plan checks.

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