Novato council weighs business ideas for former depot

The city of Novato is renewing an effort to rework a previous practice depot into what could come to be a gateway into downtown, with early proposals ranging from beer gardens to a business pop-up location.

The town-owned residence at 695 Grant Ave. sits following to the downtown Sonoma-Marin Place Rail Transit station and leads instantly into the key business enterprise block in Old City.

Just after acquiring the .88-acre residence from Intelligent in 2012, the town has been making use of it as an overflow parking good deal.

The metropolis started checking out prospective growth chances for the website in 2018 in 2019. The energy was delayed by staffing modifications and the coronavirus pandemic, in accordance to city staff members.

This yr, however, the metropolis gained a few unsolicited proposals for the former depot.

On Tuesday, the council discussed opening a official software method later this calendar year. Several council users expressed curiosity in the beer back garden principles.

“I consider there has to be a serious interest in what we do with attracting people today coming off the Intelligent coach and relocating to other elements of the group that we want,” Councilman Mark Milberg explained all through the meeting. “Whether it is the other element of downtown, regardless of whether it’s Hamilton — whatsoever we can do to carry on to raise some exhilaration through all of Novato I feel would be excellent.”

Two providers — the Hometown Advancement Group and the San Francisco Brewing Co. — produced separate pitches for a beer yard and a food stuff court that would use repurposed delivery containers.

Andy Podshadley, proprietor of Trek Vineyard in Novato, proposed a neighborhood and business location wherever retail and foodstuff sellers can set up cottages, as nicely as spots for performances and open place.

The Novato-dependent Hometown Improvement Team proposes a practice-themed beer backyard garden and cafe named the Novato Depot. It would consist of a kitchen area, audio phase, bocce ball courts, a canine park, a hearth pit and practice-car dining areas.

“As a regional team, we’re vested in a thriving style that accommodates the city’s demands, and we’re open up to locate a thing that performs for all the council associates,” company consultant Patrick Wallen informed the council.

The San Francisco Brewing Co. also proposed a beer backyard garden and foods hub using repurposed transport containers. Company proprietor Josh Leavy informed the council explained he has encounter functioning at more mature websites, obtaining currently established up a taproom and restaurant in San Francisco’s Ghirardelli Square. The depot web site would contain four to five food stuff vendors, with the brewing enterprise being the master tenant.

“It’s a fantastic area for creating a neighborhood all over food items and beverages,” Leavy instructed the council.

Podshadley proposes to use the web-site to produce a “depot village,” including the prospective for compact retail cottages developed following Novato houses. He also proposes open room with fireplace pits, a potential group garden and a efficiency spot for unamplified music.

“Construction will be steady with all of the downtown businesses so it is not going to be standing out like a sore thumb,” Podshadley explained to the council.

The council raised questions about parking, the reuse of the outdated depot developing and outreach to neighboring inhabitants about sound.

Council members also voiced concerns about employing the website for retail, offered that some storefronts in downtown are vacant.

Councilwoman Susan Wernick and Councilwoman Denise Athas claimed beer gardens are a popular attract and would be a meeting location for each younger and more mature inhabitants.

“That’s a big attraction,” Wernick said. “We want regardless of what goes in there to be thriving.”