Will parking derail Post Modern Brewing?
Jacksonville's planning department is recommending the city deny plans to restore Riverside's old Purple Petunia building as Post Modern Brewing. It's an example of outdated suburban rules potentially derailing an adaptive reuse project in an urban neighborhood.
Adding character to a character area
There are other parts of the PDD report that deserve comment. According to the report, “the Historic Preservation Section of PDD has indicated that the site design does not blend well with the historic pattern of development in the area,” as it is within a “residential character area.” A review of the history of the surrounding blocks shows that this interpretation is faulty. The building is adjacent to Roosevelt Boulevard and historical uses in nearby parcels include former fertilizer and dairy plants. Today two bars, Nighthawks and Club Metro, operate until 2 a.m. without incident within two blocks of the Purple Petunia building.
The report also claims that changing the zoning is unnecessary as “the uses allowed under the CCG-2 zoning district [the current zoning] are plentiful.” This fails to take into account that the building has sat vacant for over 20 years due to the considerable expense it will take to restore it. Clearly, the currently allowed uses, mostly small scale retail, haven’t been enough to attract a buyer who thinks they could turn a profit after such a major investment. A brewery is in a much better financial position to do that, and Post Modern thinks they can make it work, the city shouldn’t stand in their way.
It’s worth noting that, as the PDD report indicates, Riverside Avondale Preservation supports Post Modern Brewing’s plans with some relatively minor requests, none of which involve a supposed lack of parking.
Next step: Jacksonville Planning Commission
The proposal goes before the Planning Commission on Thursday, July 23, before moving on to the City Council Land Use and Zoning Committee and potentially the full Council. Given the above issues with the PDD report, we at The Jaxson ask that the Planning Commission vote to approve Post Modern’s plans to give a creative new use to a unique building in need of serious investment.
Let the Planning Commission know your thoughts by by joining the virtual public comment for Rezoning 2020-309 here, and by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also copy Post Modern Brewing at email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org.
Editorial by Bill Delaney. Contact Bill at email@example.com.