Contractor seeks RAC funding to rehab Uncle Patty's
THE FORMER UNCLE PATTY'S received a fresh coat of paint and a fence recently. A local contractor is looking for funding to turn the blighted building into three retail spaces.
Uncle Patty's, the long-vacant blighted building on Boyes Boulevard, may be in for a re-birth of sorts, but not as a restaurant.
Local contractor Dave Whiteley and architect Sid Hoover have proposed rehabbing the structure and turning it into three 800-square-foot retail spaces. The pair estimated it would cost about $325,000 to renovate the building, and they went to the Springs Redevelopment Advisory Committee meeting Thursday to pitch their project.
Whiteley is a member of the RAC, but he recused himself from a discussion about the proposed central hub plaza that may occupy the area around Uncle Patty's when the county closes off the orphan stretch of Boyes Boulevard during the next phase of the Highway 12 work.
Whiteley said the proposal is for a long-term lease since the building's owner is underwater on the building and doesn't want to sell.
Hoover called the project a "modest remodel" to turn the 2,500-square-foot building into the three 800-square-foot retail spaces.
The estimated $325,000 cost would yield three modern stores that are up to the current building code, Hoover told the panel.
Whiteley said the RAC has had many discussions about the building over the last couple of years.
"This is blight," Whiteley said. "This could be the most blighted site in the Springs. This cries out for redevelopment."
The building has been vacant for years. Recently, the owner took down the sign, slapped a new coat of paint on the building and fenced in the side and back parking lots. In addition to being an eyesore, the vacant building was a thorn in the side of local law enforcement as they dealt with drinking and drug use on the site.
Hoover said the spaces would be retail and not a restaurant as there would be too many hurdles, including ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) problems. He said since the property was at one time three separate buildings, the project would turn it back into three separate stores.
During the discussion of the central plaza concept, RAC members talked about doing away with the parking spaces on Boyes Boulevard. Whiteley said a lack of street parking could be a serious issue since there is only limited parking behind the Church Mouse and behind Uncle Patty's.
He also said that they are looking at rents of between $1.25-and-$2 a square foot.
Al Lerma, the county's redevelopment associate, said the project exceeds the commercial rehabilitation business loan program. But he welcomed the opportunity to talk about the project to see what the county's Community Development Commission can do financially, beyond the rehab program.
Whiteley told Lerma that he'd like to have some discussions as soon as possible.
No matter what happens, it isn't going to happen overnight. Hoover said with all the paperwork and permits,"it would be at least a year before you could touch the building."