New housing project on Channing Way proposed to Design Review Committee

Imad Pasha/Staff

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Montague’s Gourmet Sandwiches, located at 2510 Channing Way, posted a sign announcing its indefinite closure starting May 14 “due to family medical issues.”

“We apologize for any inconvenience and hope to see you when we are able to open,” the sign on its door read. “Thank you for your understanding and congrats to all graduating seniors. Have a great summer break!”

Neighboring stores said while they did not have information on the closure or on the medical issues of the owners, some mentioned that, unrelated to the sign, the building that currently houses Montague’s is scheduled to be demolished.

On Wednesday, the city’s Design Review Committee, or DRC, reviewed the project that proposes to demolish the commercial property that houses Montague’s in order to make way for a proposed seven-story, 36-unit mixed-use building called “The Den.”

The project will be used for student housing and will offer one-, two- and three-bedroom apartment units between 650 and 1,360 square feet, according to the DRC for Preliminary Design Review report. The ground level — approximately 2,500 square feet — is planned to be used as a commercial space for retail stores and restaurants. A roof-deck garden will also be accessible to residents.

According to the report, in compliance with Southside Plan objectives, the plan does not include parking spots, with the exception of 32 bicycle spaces, in order to make sure there are no traffic or parking impacts in the area.

In terms of design, The Austin Group LLC, the company proposing the project, states it took into account both the surrounding architecture, “with particular emphasis on the UC’s Maximino Martinez Commons dorm,” and the style and the character of the surrounding Southside area, according to city documents.

“A dynamic array of window treatment and mixture of vertical composite siding and rectangular panels is incorporated and at the ground level, a mixture of rustic materials including a form board material and reclaimed wood will create an exciting pedestrian hub,” reads the application statement.

Lila Volkas, sales associate at Twisted Thistle Apothecary, a neighboring store that shares the same building as Montague’s, said the building was getting a new landlord in a year and that the store will eventually have to move.

Other neighboring stores expressed concern at the possible demolition of another old building, which adds to a series of demolitions that have taken place over the years in place of newer buildings, which often come with higher rents.

“It’s just not affordable,” said Michael Rainey, an employee of nearby store Rasputin Music. “Like (the) People’s Park (housing proposal), it sort of seems against the interest of people that live here.”

Christine Lee is an assistant news editor. Contact Christine Lee at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter at @christinejlee17.