St. Augustine could get a Southern Grounds cafe, restaurant and bakery
City approval is still needed
Plans are underway to transform the former Corazon Cinema & Cafe site into a separate restaurant and cafe with a bakery.
The developers want to bring the Southern Grounds cafe, which has a few locations in northeast Florida, to the site, said Jay McGarvey, one of the developers on the project. Southern Grounds offers pastries and other dishes in addition to coffee. The developers also want to add a full-service restaurant called Alder & Oak to the site, McGarvey said in an interview with The Record.
If approved, the developers plan to renovate the existing building, according to McGarvey, and would like to complete the project by the first quarter of 2022.
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To move forward, the developers are looking to rezone the site from Commercial Low-One to Planned Unit Development. PUD zoning allows flexibility with respect to regular zoning categories and would allow a restaurant with more than 100 seats.
The developers initially requested a zoning change to Commercial Low-Two, but the board denied the request. At the last town planning council meeting on July 6, the change in PUD demand was discussed, according to the city.
During the last review this month, the Planning Council called for several changes to the PUD agreement. The next meeting is scheduled for August 10.
The Municipal Commission has the final authority on whether or not to approve the rezoning.
The building at 36 Granada St. was more recently the Corazon Cinema & Cafe, which was a movie theater.
McGarvey said the development team would like to have 150 seats in the restaurant and around 50 seats in the cafe.
“We are having a good cooperative conversation with the Planning and Zoning Council,” he said.
The PUD would allow developers to increase to 250 spaces for the entire site if more parking spaces are provided. A car park of just over 200 spaces is available with 10 spaces on site and 51 spaces in an adjacent car park.
The changes requested by the Planning and Zoning Council include, among others, reducing the number of uses that would be allowed in the PUD in order to better understand the potential impacts of rezoning, said David Birchim, director of the Planning and Zoning Department. building of St. Augustine.
While the project provides for a separate restaurant and cafe with a bakery, the PUD as drafted would allow all uses permitted in Commercial Low-One, as well as some things not permitted in this zoning category: full sales of alcohol and a restaurant with more than 100 seats. Commercial Low-One zoning allows for a wide range of uses including churches, libraries, single family homes, offices, service businesses such as hair salons and more.
Updated renderings of the project were not available on Tuesday, McGarvey said.