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Architectural Panel to Review Rotunda Plans Again

Previously members of the panel questioned plans to eliminate the indoor shopping from the redeveloped mall.

Plans for the renovation of the Rotunda mall in Hampden will go before a city architectural review panel again on Thursday.

The plans for the redevelopment of the Rotunda—into the Grand Rotunda—will be presented to the Urban Design and Architectural Review Panel at 1 p.m. in the Richard Chen Conference Room on the seventh floor of the Benton Building, 417 Fayette St

It will mark the second time the to the panel.

On July 19, architectural firm Design Collective and Chris Bell, senior vice president of Hekemian and Co., the mall’s owner, gave a presentation.

During the first presentation members of the panel generally expressed support for the redesign, but also shared concern about the developers intention to eliminate indoor shopping and turn it completely into and outdoor mall.

That objection caught the developer off guard because even the original plans for the redevelopment, which were scrapped following the 2008 economic collapse, involved removing the indoor shopping aspect of the mall.

"I think it’s unrealistic to restore an interior mall that showed—even when —that it wasn't able to retain retailers," Al Barry, a land use consultant hired by Hekemian, said at the time.  

The developer also plans to hold another meeting with the community group, The Rotunda Task Force, to discuss the project with residents at 7 p.m., on Tuesday at the Rotunda.

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