Chipotle, Noodles eye vacant Hollywood Video site in Cottage Grove
Video games and DVDs are out and overstuffed burritos and pasta dishes could be in: Chipotle and Noodles and Company are proposed to occupy the former Hollywood Video site in the Gateway District.
Venture Pass Partners, L.L.C., a Shorewood-based real estate development company, got the green light from the Cottage Grove Planning Commission Monday to move forward with preliminary plans to redevelop the empty 6,650-square-foot former video store, located at 7180 East Point Douglas Road, into three separate commercial spaces.
Randy Rauwerdink, the firm’s vice president, told commissioners that letters of intent were recently submitted by both food franchises.
Earlier this year, several Cottage Grove city officials attended the International Council of Shopping Centers convention in Las Vegas during which Mayor Myron Bailey said he met with representatives from various retailers, including Chipotle.
On the north end of the building, Noodles and Company is expected to occupy 2,697 square feet with a 493-square-foot patio, while Chipotle is planned to use 2,366 square feet of space on the south end of the building with a 600-square-foot patio.
A third tenant is in talks with the redevelopment firm to take up the middle space, roughly 1,600 square feet, but Rauwerdink declined to identify them because a deal has yet to be reached.
“We don’t have any leases yet (for Chipotle and Noodles) but we’re working very hard to get those,” President David Carland added. “It’s looking very good."
The Hollywood Video property, constructed in 1997, was used as a single-tenant retail space but was left empty more than a year ago.
The original design of the building provided 47 parking spaces, an amount that is sufficient, Rauwerdink said, given that the businesses will be “fast, casual restaurants.”
While a floor plan has yet to be finalized, estimates show all three tenants will have a total of about 120 seats which would require 40 parking spaces. But because the property is located within the Grove Plaza Shopping Center and shares access with the adjacent vacant Home Depot site, the large lot can be used as overflow parking.
In order to address safety issues with customers potentially crossing the busy shared access drive, a crosswalk and six-foot-wide sidewalk are planned to be installed along the north side of the shared access road.
Commissioner Chris Reese asked about the condition of the current parking lot, and while Rauwerdink said it has held up, minor repairs are needed.
"The parking surface as it stands today, the striping is essentially gone,” Rauwerdink said. “Structurally it’s in good shape but it needs to be sealed and coated and restriped. And that’s all part of the project.”
With winter being an inopportune time to build, Carland said construction most likely will begin in the spring.
"We want to get in there as fast as we can," he said. "We're thinking March and April for construction. And most likely a mid-summer opening."
Along with the approval of the redevelopment plans, the commission also approved a conditional use permit to allow the two restaurants to obtain liquor licenses.
"We're excited about this," Carland said.