The new development planned for the former gas station site at the corner of State and Magazine Street needs city approval for its parking plan, and will go before the City Planning Commission next week to request it, city documents show.
The building planned for the site will have space for a coffee shop as the “anchor tenant,” plus two other businesses such as a health-food or juice shop and fitness studio, according to a letter to neighbors from consultants Sherman Strategies. The developers anticipate construction being “substantially complete” by October, they said.
The project is planned to have 17 parking spaces, but the site sits on multiple lots, and the portion planned for parking is technically a separate lot at 808 State Street. Because of the zoning there, that aspect of the project requires a conditional-use permit from the city, the developers said.
“Legally, parking for this development is not required since each tenant space will be less than 5,000 square feet,” the developers told neighbors. “However, we know from our earlier presentation to the Audubon Riverside Neighborhood Association that providing those parking spaces is important to the neighborhood and to the tenants.”
Developers met with neighborhood residents in June to discuss the project. While neighbors have asked if the parking lot could be used to help alleviate parking pressure from surrounding businesses, the developers said the tenants will receive first priority for their use.
No drive-through is planned, however, and “never will be,” the developers promised, because city regulations prohibit it.
The request is scheduled to be heard before the City Planning Commission at 1:30 p.m. Tuesday, July 23. City planners said in their preliminary report that the parking lot does not run afoul of any city regulations, and that the project as a whole promotes walkability in the neighborhood.
“The proposed parking lot is larger than necessary, but given its less-than-conspicuous location (where it would not be readily visible from Magazine Street), and the commercial nature of its environs, its larger size does not give rise to any diminution of the neighborhood’s walkability or character,” the report states.