City commissioners Monday approved in a matter of minutes what took a daylong conference to accomplish – a plan to save and restore a historic building, immediately expand public parking and eventually build a quadruplex of residential properties on Granada Street.
George Gardner reported to Historic City News that property owner John Arbizzani, who sought demolition of 32 Granada Street opposite the Lightner Museum, was not dissuaded by residents who pushed to save the aging structure by obtaining its designation as a local landmark because it was the home of a gilded age painter.
“The key thing is, we’re restoring a residential use in an urban environment,” City Manager John Regan said in his trademark “make everybody happy” style. “There are complete urban design lectures on the value of this.”
Under the modified plan, the building will be moved to one end of Arbizzani’s property, “restored and put into adaptive reuse as a café,” Regan explained to commissioners.
The balance of Arbizzani’s land, already partially a public parking lot in agreement with the city, will be expanded parking until residential properties are built – in Spanish Colonial style with balconies, the conference decided.