Novato council weighs business ideas for former depot

The town of Novato is renewing an exertion to renovate a former educate depot into what could come to be a gateway into downtown, with early proposals ranging from beer gardens to a enterprise pop-up region.

The metropolis-owned home at 695 Grant Ave. sits future to the downtown Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit station and sales opportunities specifically into the major enterprise block in Previous Town.

Soon after acquiring the .88-acre home from Wise in 2012, the metropolis has been applying it as an overflow parking great deal.

The metropolis commenced checking out potential development opportunities for the website in 2018 in 2019. The hard work was delayed by staffing changes and the coronavirus pandemic, according to town workers.

This 12 months, having said that, the city been given a few unsolicited proposals for the previous depot.

On Tuesday, the council talked about opening a formal software course of action later this 12 months. Many council members expressed fascination in the beer garden principles.

“I consider there has to be a authentic desire in what we do with attracting persons coming off the Wise coach and relocating to other sections of the group that we want,” Councilman Mark Milberg said all through the meeting. “Whether it’s the other part of downtown, no matter whether it is Hamilton — what ever we can do to continue on to raise some exhilaration all over all of Novato I imagine would be superb.”

Two businesses — the Hometown Improvement Team and the San Francisco Brewing Co. — made individual pitches for a beer backyard and a food court docket that would use repurposed transport containers.

Andy Podshadley, proprietor of Trek Vineyard in Novato, proposed a community and enterprise area in which retail and meals suppliers can set up cottages, as effectively as areas for performances and open up place.

The Novato-dependent Hometown Enhancement Group proposes a teach-themed beer yard and cafe known as the Novato Depot. It would consist of a kitchen, tunes stage, bocce ball courts, a dog park, a fireplace pit and practice-car eating parts.

“As a area group, we’re vested in a profitable layout that accommodates the city’s demands, and we’re open to find anything that will work for all the council members,” business representative Patrick Wallen advised the council.

The San Francisco Brewing Co. also proposed a beer backyard and meals hub applying repurposed delivery containers. Company operator Josh Leavy advised the council stated he has expertise doing the job at older web sites, acquiring now set up a taproom and restaurant in San Francisco’s Ghirardelli Sq.. The depot internet site would contain four to 5 foodstuff vendors, with the brewing firm remaining the grasp tenant.

“It’s a best locale for creating a community around food items and drinks,” Leavy told the council.

Podshadley proposes to use the web-site to create a “depot village,” like the potential for small retail cottages made after Novato residences. He also proposes open space with fireplace pits, a opportunity group backyard and a overall performance space for unamplified music.

“Construction will be regular with all of the downtown firms so it is not heading to be standing out like a sore thumb,” Podshadley informed the council.

The council elevated thoughts about parking, the reuse of the outdated depot setting up and outreach to neighboring inhabitants about sound.

Council users also voiced concerns about working with the site for retail, given that some storefronts in downtown are vacant.

Councilwoman Susan Wernick and Councilwoman Denise Athas mentioned beer gardens are a well-known attract and would be a meeting spot for both more youthful and more mature people.

“That’s a major attraction,” Wernick claimed. “We want no matter what goes in there to be prosperous.”