The city’s Design Review Committee approved a request from a downtown property group to hang a three-story-long sign on the Legal Arts Building promoting its company.
The kicker is the sign was put on the vacant building at 101 Market St. about a month ago without the committee’s permission.
Bill D’Avignon, the DRC chairman and the city’s Community Development Agency director, said Tuesday that he saw the 30-foot-long, 15-foot-wide sign last month and knew the NYO Property Group, which owns the building, hadn’t received the committee’s approval for the sign. He then called NYO officials to have them come to Tuesday’s committee meeting to seek permission for the sign.
Any exterior changes to buildings downtown and in surrounding areas must receive DRC approval before work is done, though the committee has granted permission for work after its concluded.
NYO officials were in front of the DRC about two months ago to get approval for exterior signs for the Rust Belt Brewing Co., a business in the company’s Erie Terminal Place at 112 W. Commerce St.
D’Avignon asked at Tuesday’s DRC meeting why the company didn’t get permission before putting up the sign — made of a hard vinyl/Plexiglass-like material. An NYO representative at the meeting didn’t have an answer.
The committee agreed to allow NYO to keep the sign on the building for the next six months.
NYO purchased the Legal Arts Building, one of downtown’s largest vacant buildings, for $175,000, in March 2012. The building, vacant since late 2004, remains empty.
NYO is currently working to convert the vacant downtown Wick Building into a 52-unit rental and extended-stay facility at a cost of $15 million to $16 million.