Developer working to bring brewery, wellness center to Park Street

Developer working to bring brewery, wellness center to Park Street

Michele Ellson

A new commercial development rises on the former Cavanaugh Motors property on Park Street. Photo by Michele Ellson.

A developer who’s building new commercial space on the site of a former Park Street car dealership is asking for the city’s okay to include a restaurant and brewery, a wellness center and artist studios in the tenant mix.

On Monday, Bill Phua will be asking the Planning Board for permits to allow a restaurant, wellness center, artists studios and a brewery or winery in the buildings he’s erected on the site of the former Cavanaugh Motors, and also for the right to keep any restaurant or bar that opens on the site open until 1 a.m. and to allow outdoor dining.

According to a staff report for Monday’s meeting, Phua wants permission to put a restaurant on the ground floor and offices on the second floor of the new, two-floor building at 1700 Park Street. The report says Phua would like to lease the restored automobile showroom at 1708 Park Street to a “wellness center” which provides physical therapy, exercise and other services and that he is working to bring a brewery or winery to the former service area in the rear of the building.

The new, single-story building at 1718 Park Street could house a brewery, wine tasting room or tavern. Phua is asking the Planning Board to allow any restaurant or bar that sets up shop in the development to provide outdoor seating and to remain open until 1 a.m.

In 2009, the Planning Board okayed a two-story restaurant, retail and office complex on the site. Construction is still underway, and it wasn’t clear how far along negotiations for tenants to occupy the site are.

Phua has been working on redeveloping the site since 2007, and the two years he spent working with city staff to get his project approved made it a poster child for what some saw as an onerous approval process that discouraged new business development in Alameda. Since the project was short of parking, the city required Phua to install a bus shelter and a host of bike racks and to provide transit passes to full-time workers – conditions he is hoping the Planning Board will drop since more parking has since been added.

In an effort to speed the revitalization of Alameda’s former Auto Row, the city’s planners drafted new rules for development on Park Street north of Lincoln Avenue. The City Council has all but signed off on the rules; an additional approval of a change in the rules that would require more scrutiny of buildings that would be 50 feet or taller is due at the council’s next meeting.

But while the city has worked to create rules – and a degree of certainty – for developers seeking to rebuild Auto Row, development efforts have edged out front of them. Up the block from Phua’s development – which sits next to the Alameda Marketplace, across Buena Vista Avenue – another commercial space that will include a new Walgreens store is also under construction, on the site formerly occupied by Good Chevrolet.

Changes to that project to accommodate the Walgreens will also be before the Planning Board on Monday.

The meeting begins at 7 p.m. in council chambers at City Hall, 2263 Santa Clara Avenue, and will be televised on Comcast cable channel 15.


Donna Eyestone's picture
Submitted by Donna Eyestone on Thu, Apr 18, 2013

By my definition, a brewery is a wellness center :-)