Shop strip proposed |

Shop strip proposed

A proposal to replace an out-of-service gas station in downtown Nevada City with a combination of shops and apartments will come before the city planning commission Wednesday.

On Jan. 27, an application was submitted to the city by Tintle Inc. for an approximately 15,000-square-foot project on Union Street that would feature a two-story building with commercial and residential space and a small underground parking garage, City Manager Mark Miller said.

“It will be historically sensitive, with 25-foot building facades so it looks like the rest of the town,” Miller said. “We’re really jazzed about it.”

Project architect Bruce Boyd – designer of the new version of the city’s landmark Elks Building at 109 N. Pine St. after the original was destroyed by fire in 2002 – said that what is being proposed will have the feel of the buildings along Broad Street.

The plan includes about 5,000 square feet of retail space on the first floor and about 4,000 square feet of commercial and apartment space upstairs, he said.

“It’s going to be a really high-quality building,” Boyd said. “What we are proposing is re-creating the shallow, 25-foot store fronts. Even though it will be one building, it will look like four separate buildings.”

The configuration of the lot will allow for a basement parking area that will provide most of the parking required for the project. Several curb spaces will be created in front of the building, as well. Boyd said the landscaping at the high end of the lot will be preserved.

A previous proposal for the 36-year-old gas station was rejected by the city because it entailed reopening it with a minimart, Miller said. The new proposal is a better use for the “under-utilized part of town,” he said.

“Downtown gas stations are tough to operate. The key is a minimart,” Miller said. “But the city turned it down mainly because of traffic issues. That would have been a bad use for that spot.”

Boyd said the project will heal the lower end of Nevada City, which was severed by the construction of the Golden Center Freeway in the mid-1960s. He noted the historical buildings on the lower ends of Commercial, Main and Coyote streets, such as the Assay Building.

“A lot of time, I walk around and pick out little cues from the old buildings,” Boyd said. “We’re hoping the planning commission will look favorably on our application.”

The planning commission meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. Feb. 11 in City Hall, 317 Broad St. in Nevada City.

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