Via Bicycle was a fixture in the Bella Vista neighborhood for two decades, operating out of a large space on 9th Street just south of South Street. Earlier this year though, we shared the news that Via Bicycle was moving to a new location on South Broad Street, as their longtime home was listed for sale for a whopping $2.2M. More specifically, that list price not only covered the Via Bicycle building at 606 S. 9th St., but it also included the much less aesthetically pleasing building to the north.
From what we can see on public record, it appears that a developer was willing to pay exactly the list price for these properties, closing on the sale back in February. In our prior story, we suggested that this would make for an easy residential conversion, and doing some quick math we figured that eight units would probably fit nicely in the southern building. Earlier today, we got an email from BVNA announcing a zoning meeting tonight at which the developers will present their plans to combine the two buildings and create a pair of retail spaces, 10 apartment units, and a single parking space in the rear. We have to imagine it’ll be a condo play, given the price they paid for the buildings.
There are only two refusals for the project, one relating to the parking space and the other (we believe) because the pilot house for the roof deck will be oversized and will therefore be considered as additional building height. If the project was new construction and not renovation, there would also be a major open area refusal that would pop up, since the buildings cover almost 100% of the lot. But thank goodness they’re renovating, because the southern building has great bones and a sweet old sign that provides a glimpse into the building’s history. And the northern building couldn’t look worse, maybe there’s something wonderful under all that stucco. Because the requested variances are so minor, we would expect that the project will skate through the zoning process, but you can never be sure about such things, you know?
If you think the project is a great idea, believe it’s an awful idea, or just want to learn more, the community meeting will take place tonight, September 5th, at the Palumbo Rec Center at 10th & Fitzwater, at 7:30pm.