Novato council weighs business ideas for former depot

The metropolis of Novato is renewing an energy to completely transform a former practice depot into what could turn out to be a gateway into downtown, with early proposals ranging from beer gardens to a organization pop-up spot.

The town-owned residence at 695 Grant Ave. sits up coming to the downtown Sonoma-Marin Spot Rail Transit station and sales opportunities directly into the most important small business block in Aged City.

After getting the .88-acre residence from Sensible in 2012, the metropolis has been using it as an overflow parking large amount.

The metropolis commenced exploring prospective growth alternatives for the web-site in 2018 in 2019. The energy was delayed by staffing improvements and the coronavirus pandemic, according to metropolis team.

This calendar year, even so, the metropolis received a few unsolicited proposals for the previous depot.

On Tuesday, the council talked about opening a formal software course of action later on this yr. Numerous council members expressed fascination in the beer yard ideas.

“I feel there has to be a true curiosity in what we do with attracting men and women coming off the Sensible teach and going to other parts of the local community that we want,” Councilman Mark Milberg stated all through the conference. “Whether it’s the other part of downtown, no matter if it is Hamilton — what ever we can do to continue to raise some excitement all through all of Novato I believe would be great.”

Two providers — the Hometown Progress Group and the San Francisco Brewing Co. — produced independent pitches for a beer backyard garden and a food stuff courtroom that would use repurposed transport containers.

Andy Podshadley, proprietor of Trek Vineyard in Novato, proposed a neighborhood and enterprise region where by retail and food items vendors can set up cottages, as properly as areas for performances and open house.

The Novato-centered Hometown Growth Team proposes a coach-themed beer garden and cafe referred to as the Novato Depot. It would consist of a kitchen, new music phase, bocce ball courts, a canine park, a fireplace pit and practice-auto dining places.

“As a nearby group, we’re vested in a profitable style and design that accommodates the city’s requires, and we’re open up to find a thing that will work for all the council associates,” company consultant Patrick Wallen told the council.

The San Francisco Brewing Co. also proposed a beer backyard garden and foodstuff hub applying repurposed delivery containers. Corporation operator Josh Leavy explained to the council explained he has working experience functioning at older websites, obtaining previously established up a taproom and cafe in San Francisco’s Ghirardelli Sq.. The depot web-site would incorporate four to 5 foods suppliers, with the brewing business remaining the learn tenant.

“It’s a fantastic place for building a neighborhood all over foods and drinks,” Leavy informed the council.

Podshadley proposes to use the web site to produce a “depot village,” such as the possible for compact retail cottages developed following Novato houses. He also proposes open room with fireplace pits, a opportunity local community backyard garden and a functionality place for unamplified audio.

“Construction will be regular with all of the downtown enterprises so it’s not likely to be standing out like a sore thumb,” Podshadley explained to the council.

The council raised queries about parking, the reuse of the previous depot creating and outreach to neighboring inhabitants about sound.

Council associates also voiced fears about applying the web-site for retail, offered that some storefronts in downtown are vacant.

Councilwoman Susan Wernick and Councilwoman Denise Athas said beer gardens are a preferred attract and would be a conference area for both of those more youthful and more mature residents.

“That’s a significant attraction,” Wernick explained. “We want what ever goes in there to be prosperous.”

Maria Flores

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