City planners granted preliminary approval Tuesday for Watertown Aerie 782, Fraternal Order of Eagles to build a new clubhouse at Northland Plaza off Eastern Boulevard.
The citys Planning Board approved the site plans for the 6,500-square-foot clubhouse as long as developer Michael E. Lundy completes a series of modifications and adds more details to the site plans before he obtains a building permit. The developer must put together a more defined lighting scheme and a modified landscaping plan and obtain a parking easement to use the plazas parking lot, planners said.
The city requires 33 parking spaces for a building that size, but the site plans show only 10. Mr. Lundy has arranged to use 23 more spaces on the plazas property, he said.
The club is making the move from its present location at 19260 Route 11 in the town of Watertown to make room for new development for Washington Summit medical complex, owned by the Lundy Group. The developer is purchasing the nearly acre site at the plaza behind the Kinney Drugs store for the Eagles and will swap the deed for the Route 11 property, club officials said.
Choosing from a handful of sites, Mr. Lundy said Eagles Club members liked the plaza site because its within city limits and they hope to attract new members. Over the years, membership has dropped from about 700 members to about half that.
Afterward, Mr. Lundy said the $700,000 project probably would break ground in mid-August and be finished after the first of the year.
The front of the clubhouse will face the plaza, so it will feature a four-sided architectural plan using the same look on each side of the building, Mr. Lundy said. It will have vinyl siding and a shingled roof and will comfortably accommodate 100 people inside, he said. A 960-square-foot pavilion and a patio off the building are included in the plans.
Inside, the clubhouse will have a bar, kitchen, restrooms and offices.
The national Grand Aerie must approve the project before it moves forward. The Watertown City Council also must give final approval for the site plans.