Highlights and Updates on Development Projects Around Town

December 30, 2019

The City of Mill Valley Planning and Building Department has prepared an update for the community on several higher profile development projects around town.

87 Throckmorton Avenue (The Depot Café and Bookstore). City Manager Jim McCann provided an update at the January 6, 2020 City Council meeting that the Depot renovation project will soon move forward. Revisions to the previously approved Construction Reimbursement Agreement and the Lease Extension Agreement (originally approved in April of 2018) were considered and unanimously approved by the City Council at the December 2, 2019 meeting. The tenant and contractors held a pre-construction meeting on December 5, 2019, and fencing to initiate construction was put up the week before Christmas 2019. Construction of the Depot renovations, including public restrooms, is projected to be concluded in 4-5 months once initiated.

500 Miller Avenue is a mixed-use project approved by the City in 2010 consisting of 9 single-family residential townhomes and a two-story 4,948 square foot commercial building. Phase I and II construction plans have been submitted for plan check review, and permits for Phase I improvements are expected to be issued by December 31, 2019. Revised Phase II plans are pending as of December 5, 2019.   A 36-month construction timeline will commence upon permit issuance for Phase I and II improvements.

542 Miller Avenue (formerly Coopersmith and subsequently Simons Way) consists of a 13-lot subdivision and 16 residential condominium units approved by the City in 2010. The developer has made significant progress on the site work. Permit applications have been submitted for all 13 buildings, and building permits have been issued for 7 buildings to date. Construction is currently underway on the 7 buildings. Based on current construction timeline, construction must be completed by May 10, 2022.

510 Miller Avenue (Former Kentucky Fried Chicken) was the subject of illegal dumping and graffiti in 2018 leading to an Administrative Code Enforcement Hearing held on May 15, 2018. The hearing resulted in an order to erect a fence to limit access to the site and prevent illegal dumping. The owner complied with the order. Mill Valley Police Department received a call on November 30, 2019 regarding a thrown object that broke a window on the front of the building facing Miller Avenue. Mill Valley Police contacted the owner on this matter, and Code Enforcement is in progress. The property owner and his architect met with City staff in early 2019 to explore a possible mixed-use project on the property, but no application has been filed or further contact received from property owner subsequent to the meeting held earlier this year.  

250 East Blithedale Avenue / Le Marais French Bakery (formerly Tony Tuto’s Pizza) is the last tenant improvement to this remodel project. The owner anticipates opening of Le Marais by spring 2020.

590 East Blithedale Avenue / A Pizza (formerly Gira Polli). The restaurant owner and architect met with City staff in November to share a new restaurant proposal for the site referred to as “A Pizza”; the owner explained that his prior plans for La Boulangerie were not feasible financially and is now proposing A Pizza. The owner operates A Pizza on Fillmore Street in San Francisco and plans to bring the same concept to Mill Valley. The new proposal for “A Pizza” is permitted under the prior CUP / DR approvals granted for La Boulangerie Bakery/Café. The project architect plans to submit improvement plans by December 31, 2019. If City staff can confirm that the proposal can be found in substantial conformance with the La Boulangerie approval, the owner anticipates opening “A Pizza” by spring 2020.

Development Proposal by Mr. Phil Richardson (aka “Blithedale Terrace”). In early 2019, City Staff received preliminary concept plans from Mr. Phil Richardson, property owner, for a mixed-use project on the property located on the east side of East Blithedale, north of Camino Alto. Concept plans included approximately 2,000 s.f. of office space fronting East Blithedale, 12 senior apartments (above office), and 13 attached townhome units. City Staff met with Mr. Richardson and his team in April 2019 expressing concern with the concept, particularly with respect to traffic impacts and neighborhood compatibility, and encouraged a complete redesign and to reduce the overall intensity of project. To date, no meetings have been held subsequent to the April 2019 meeting, and no application has been filed.