Plans for renovations to the former Cobb’s grocery location on 50th Street received a favourable review by the town’s Municipal Planning Commission members Monday night. They passed a recommendation that council approve the development application.
RiverCity Developments submitted the application to create space for a restaurant and patio and six suites on the main floor and add a second storey within the existing building which would have five suites.
The application estimated the $960,000 project would be completed by February.
To be known as Cobb’s Central Block, the building is proposed to have a Colonial Revival Style with symmetrical façade featuring both siding and brick on the exterior, multi-paned windows which are vertically aligned and have harmonious proportions and columns along the gallery overhang. There are two ‘dormer style’ façades and a centre-entry floor plan for the majority of the interior.
It’s proposed that 15,582 square feet will be used for retail and restaurant, primarily on the main floor and 9,878 square feet will be used for office and personal services, primarily on the second floor. An outdoor patio is linked to the restaurant.
A wall mural will replace the painting on the north side “which will enrich the pedestrian experience and create a strong sense of place,” said the proposal submitted by Ken Wessel. “This is particularly important as part of the revitalization in the downtown. There is good visibility for the piece from other buildings and from the street.”
Colleen Jensen, representing RiverCity at the meeting, told commission members the mural would be different than what is there now and created on a material that could be affixed to the wall rather than painted directly on it.
She also commented on the requirement that the developer be required to submit “a landscaping plan for the west boundary of the property that provides adequate street screening in the form of a landscape island or other means satisfactory to the Development Officer as a means to buffer the parking area from the public roadway”.
“Doing screening may be difficult,” said Jensen. “It will be a challenge to put some sort of landscaping in and still maintain parking.”
Existing parking (35 stalls in the parking lot and four stalls in the alley) satisfies the requirements of the town’s Pattern Book, according to a report from Development Officer Patty Urban.
Council is required to make the final decision on the project since it falls within the Waterfront Direct Control District. That’s why the planning commission’s decision is only to recommend that council approve the project.
The application will be on council’s agenda at Monday night’s meeting.