Design Review Alert

For those who are interested and able, the City’s Design Review Committee meets tomorrow (Wednesday April 14) at 7:30 AM at the Third Floor of the Center for Regional Planning and Design, 1731 First Avenue North.

On the agenda are the Five Points South Chick-Fil-A site plan, addition to the School of the Fine Arts, and other, mainly smaller items. These meetings are nominally open to the public, although there is not really any time allotted for public comment. And, the Committee is bound to follow City regulations: if a drive-through is allowed, as much as the Committee, the public, or anyone else may disagree–until the City changes this regulation, the DRC is relatively impotent to stop it (they can delay if they have reason to believe the regulation is ambiguous, etc).

It’s an imperfect setting, but a allows a small window into some of the things being proposed around the city proper. I will plan on being there myself and will report back on anything interesting that transpires. Until then, I’ll leave you with a snapshot I took the other day showing the Cityville Block 121 apartments well underway on 20th Street South across Second Avenue South, where an old, Spanish-style stucco former service station still stands.

Old greeting the new

12 responses to “Design Review Alert

  1. Surprised to see your photo of this service station remnant. Passed it so often without really looking at it. Good to have Cityville filling a huge gap and setting up new relations like this. Buildings across 21st to the east doesn’t seem isolated now.

  2. Philip, have you seen any 21st Street Elevations? It doesn’t look like any of the street-level retail faces that side. Looks more like service doors.

    I’ve often pictured that service station as a café. The picture in my mind is of the La Madeleine in New Orleans’ Riverbend (St Charles & Carrollton)

  3. Well, it’s perhaps a little misleading, given the service station sits back from the street edge and isn’t normally perceived as such a “foreground” element–but it does point to the potential of that service station now that over 300 people will be living across the street. Dystopos is right it could make a very cool outdoor cafe.

    And I’ll also agree with Dystopos that while Cityville overall is filling a large gap, bringing ground floor retail, etc.–it’s disappointing the 21st Street elevation appears to have no retail at all, just first floor apartments.

  4. There’s an interesting article on al.com about Frank Stitt stating his opposition to the drive-thru Chick-fil-A at the Design Review Committee meeting. This has sparked lots of discussion in the comments section as well.

    here is the link:

    http://blog.al.com/businessnews/2010/04/planned_drive-through_has_top.html

    • Thanks for posting this link. I soon hope to post my own thoughts after attending the meeting and hearing Frank Stitt and other merchants protest this development.

    • funny. It would be a shame for Highlands to pack up and go elsewhere… Mr. Stitt needs to speak with the head of the 5 points merchants assoc; from a recent interview with al.com:
      Q: It seems like when a restaurant closes in Five Points, there is always another one waiting to take its place.
      Little: We have seen that happen. La Mesa closed and then Fuego came in. Now, Ruby Tuesday has closed and the rumor is out that a Chick fil-A could be taking that spot. That would be a huge boost to the area if it happens because it will tie into exactly what we’ve been trying to accomplish and bring more people back.
      (http://blog.al.com/businessnews/2010/03/james_little_glimpses_bright_f.html)

      • Little was with Stitt yesterday and they stood together in disapproval of the plan. Back when the interview you linked to was given, neither Little nor Stitt was aware of a drive-through. Hence the change in opinion as stated in the paper today. I don’t think anyone is really objecting to a Chick-Fil-A in Five Points. The objection is that a drive-through is incompatible with this sort of urban neighborhood.

  5. re:design review
    what happened with the ‘design review’ for the chik-fil-a? i thought that the design review had already occurred? where do they advertise upcoming reviews anyway? thanks for your attention to this project!

    • Hey David–I will post some more on this situation soon to try to bring some clarity to it. Unfortunately these reviews are not advertised, but they are open to the public to attend and express opinions–I am going to start posting on a regular basis the schedule for these meetings and highlights of the agenda. It’s not perfect–the City should indeed by advertising this–but it’s a start.

  6. I wonder if its worthwhile to try and lobby for an upgrade to a “Truett’s Grill” location. Same menu. More events. Online ordering for pick-up or delivery, but no drive-thru. Design-wise, I guess you’d have to consider a “themed attraction” to be a couple of steps up from a standard fast-food box.

    http://www.truettsgrill.com/

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