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Thursday, January 17 , 2019, 9:59 pm | Fog/Mist 56º


Historic Landmarks Commission Reviews Plan to Redesign Plaza, Parking Lot Near Granada Theatre

Towbes Group proposes residential garages for Granada building residents and improvements to the public paseo

Proposed plans for the area between the Granada Theatre and Granada Garage include adding residential parking and redesigning the public paseo, where people walk from the parking garage to the theater and State Street. Click to view larger
Proposed plans for the area between the Granada Theatre and Granada Garage include adding residential parking and redesigning the public paseo, where people walk from the parking garage to the theater and State Street.  (Joshua Molina / Noozhawk photo)

The Towbes Group has proposed a major redesign of the parking lot next to the Granada Theatre and the city's Granada Garage parking structure, to add two residential garages with hydraulic lifts for residents who live on the upper floors of the theater building.

“The ultimate goal of this project is to improve the area known as Granada Plaza by providing a more inviting and safer pedestrian experience that would benefit the entire community,” said Andrew Salter, development analyst for The Towbes Group.

In addition to the garages, the plans include installing a new trash and recycling enclosure and making improvements to the public paseo, which include a new ramp, lighting and 8-1/2-foot walls to enclose bus/truck parking service to the Granada Theatre.

The paseo connecting State Street to Paseo De Las Granadas will be enhanced with a new site wall, landscaping, lighting, and paving to match Paseo De Las Granadas.

Architect Brian Cearnal made the presentation at the city’s Historic Landmarks Commission meeting last week and the commissioners offered general support for the project during the concept review, but called for a differentiation between the driveway and walkways, and better landscaping.

The project must be reviewed by the city’s Planning Commission before approval or denial, at which time the HLC will also make a site visit.

“I appreciate that this very blighted looking area is getting cleaned up and I think it is going to be nice,” commissioner Steve Hausz said.

HLC member Bill Mahan agreed, saying, “Generally speaking I think it is a vast improvement to this particular area now, which is helter skelter.”

Commission member Michael Drury said the design of the plaza reminded him of a Chuck Berry song, “Too Much Monkey Business.”

“It seems to me that what this is really is just a dressed up truck plaza, that’s what it is, a truck and bus parking plaza,” said Drury, who also predicted a problem with graffiti on the garages.

During the review meeting, community member Anna Marie Gott panned the project and Cearnal’s project rendering, which shows no vehicles parked in the lot and a woman wearing a gown. She said there were no plans that showed the loss of parking, no before photos or outline of what is there now. The plaza would still be used as a driveway and parking lot for buses and delivery trucks. 

A 2012 rendering of the proposed project. Click to view larger
A 2012 rendering of the proposed project.  (Courtesy photo)

“This entire area looks like a nice plaza, but it is really a parking lot part of the time,” Gott said.

She also noted that the area has 16 tandem and 5 angled parking spaces, yet the rendering showed a wide open space with nobody on it.

Cearnal noted that the rendering, drawn in 2012, was not to scale while the actual plans are.

The rendering “is just meant to depict the general area of the project. I am sure there are some inaccuracies,” he said.

Noozhawk staff writer Joshua Molina can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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