A big change in direction is proposed for a building at a key downtown Monterey crossroads.
The three-story Paseo Del Alvarado Building at Del Monte Avenue and Alvarado Street has been home to ground-floor restaurants and upper-story nightclubs and offices since it was built in the 1970s in the city's first wave of urban renewal.
Most recently, parts of the upper floors housed the Hippodrome nightclub, until it was shut down by state alcohol control officials after a spate of fights and reports of public drunkenness.
Before that the building housed Club Octane and other nightspots, said city principal planner Kimberly Cole.
But now John Valenti wants to convert the upper-floor commercial area to 22 apartments, ranging in size from studio units to two-bedroom apartments.
"We're excited about it," Cole said.
The proposal, which will be heard by the Monterey Planning Commission at its Tuesday meeting, dovetails with city plans calling for more "mixed-use" development in the downtown.
The ground floor of the building is home to Cibo Ristorante, Taco Bell, a pizza parlor and a crepe restaurant. The upper floors are mostly vacant, Cole said.
"The building is at a crossroads, and it needs improvement," said project architect Henry Ruhnke. The owners don't see another nightclub upstairs as "a great idea" going forward, he said.
"It makes the most sense to look at a mixed-use concept," he said.
So far, there haven't been any hints of opposition about the idea. Ruhnke said he has fielded questions about water for the renovation, but that's not an issue.
"We have tons of water on this project," he said. Residential apartments would use far less water than a nightclub, he said.
All the apartments would be market-rate units because a recent court decision prevents the city from requiring apartments for below-market inclusionary housing, Cole said.
Larry Parsons can be reached at 646-4379 or lparsons@montereyherald.
If you go
·What: Monterey Planning Commission
·When: 4 p.m., Tuesday
·Where: Council chambers, 580 Pacific St., Monterey
If you go