Tuesday, November 1, 2016
[Shasta County] Restaurant plans at old police station revived
Blog note: this article references a 2013 Marin County grand jury report.
Redding's former police station may open as a restaurant and offices, after all.
The City Council on Tuesday will consider a proposal from Equity Streams to buy the property and parking lot in the 1300 block of California Street.
The Redding firm would pay the fair market value on the site of $650,000 and have 60 days to complete its due diligence, under terms outlined in a non-binding letter of intent. Escrow would close by Jan. 20, 2017.
According to plans, the vacant building would be converted into offices. The parking lot and storage bays would be converted into either a small restaurant or brewery with indoor and outdoor seating. The parking lot also could be used to host private events in the summer, such as music nights and beer tasting, the letter said.
Mayor Missy McArthur, recalling the aging building's recent troubles with squatters using it for drug use, welcomed Equity Streams' proposal as a positive move for the downtown.
"We're thrilled to have the opportunity to revitalize the downtown by having a mixed use opportunity and to not have one more empty building," she said.
Aaron Nelson, a managing member of Equity Streams who also owns Venture Properties, did not immediately respond to an email for comment, and he was not at his office on Friday.
A staff report said the city will need to obtain the first phase of an environmental site assessment report. It also will pay a 3 percent commission to the buyer's real estate broker.
Equity Streams would make its initial deposit of $5,000 to the city by Nov. 15.
The buyer also agrees to accept the property in its current condition without any further work, repairs, treatments or improvements.
The council last year agreed that if the aging police facility sold, up to $375,000 would be put down as seed money for a sobering center, a place where people sleep off the effects of alcohol. It's intended to divert them from the jail, while also freeing up officers from a lengthy booking process.
Police Chief Robert Paoletti has endorsed the sobering center as a way of potentially reaching a fraction of the offenders who drive up the arrest rate.
"The idea of having that cash for the sobering center thrills me too," said McArthur, who has long been a proponent of such a facility. "It's not the end-all but a stepping stone. It is the start to solving some of the social issues in our town."
For perspective, a nine-bed sobering center in Santa Barbara tracking more than 700 admissions five years ago, operated in 2013 with a staff of six, all who were recovering alcoholics, and a budget of about $200,000.
Funding came primarily from the police department, with additional funding provided by Santa Barbara County agencies and nonprofits, according to a 2013 Grand Jury report from Marin County, which was making the case for a facility there.
Redding police moved out of the California Street building a year ago. Jamie Lynn, a Redding contractor who specializes in old buildings, thought about transforming the old station into a restaurant like the Spaghetti Factory. But he said the costs to retrofit the building did not pencil out.
October 29, 2016
By Jenny Espino