Plans for a new retail complex on Redwood Boulevard were mapped out last week during a meeting of the Novato Design Review Commission. But it’s not the discussion that’s been such a hot topic at city meetings; it’s the property occupied by , between and a .
The architect who worked on the , future home of and several retail/restaurant spots, showed designs for 7330 Redwood Blvd. where Mills is now.
Max Crome, principal of Crome Architecture in San Rafael, said his idea for a new three-building complex is to create “a dynamic retail experience” an attractive bookend between the gas station and 999 Grant. Tenants might include a coffee shop, some sort of eatery and a service-oriented retail store. He said he’d like to find a design style that relates to the styles incorporated into 999 Grant as well as the feel of Old Town.
“I’ve never heard of two bookends around a McDonald’s,” quipped Commissioner Patrick MacLeamy.
Crome said preliminary designs include a brick facade with a lot of glass plus steel canopies that might hang over walkways and some outdoor seating.
The reaction of the commissioners and public were that the mass of the project needs to be scaled back to better conform to the Old Town area and that the parking plaza needed some trees for shade and design accents.
A message was left with Mills Restaurant owner Osama Atallah regarding the fate of his operation.
Machin Avenue Renaissance
The next couple of weeks and months will be huge for the business community along Machin Avenue, a key north-south street in the heart of Old Town Novato.
, at the corner of Machin and Grant, is aiming for a 2012 opening — complicated by a and knocking down part of a wall — but we’ll see some new things popping up well before that.
The White Rose Ranch Store, specializing in gourmet takeout food and catering, is set to open Nov. 7 at 902 Grant Ave., right behind the antique store at Grant and Machin. The business will feature foods from Susan Lustenberger, winner of the recent Top Chef Marin contest. Dinners will be available from 4-7 p.m. weekdays.
Sometime in December, ’s tasting room will open up one block north at the corner of Machin and Sweetster. The debut will fulfill a lifelong dream for local native Andy Podshadley, who has already crushed nine tons of grapes at the former Tresch Electric building. The remodeling project is ongoing and the winemaking is moving along well, he said.
Bank of Marin Earnings Strong
chief exec Russell Colombo said he was pleased with third-quarter earnings of $4.2 million, a jump of 26 percent from that period a year ago. He said it can be attributed to high credit quality, the acquisition of a failed Napa bank and the opening of two Sonoma County branches.
Novato-based Bank of Marin Bancorp (NASDAQ: BMRC) reported total earnings of $12.2 for the first nine months of 2011 and diluted earnings per share of $0.79, up $0.16 from the same quarter a year ago. This year’s earnings include the impact of the federally-assisted takeover of partial assets and liabilities from the former , which got ironed out in February. That transaction boosted Bank of Marin earnings by about $1.6 million in the third quarter, he said.
“By investing in our branch network and operational infrastructure, including hiring senior-level talent, we are creating value for our customers, employees and shareholders,” Colombo said in a release.
Finance Workshop Offered by Chamber
A will be presented by the Novato Chamber of Commerce's Business Education Committee on Thursday, Nov. 10 from 7:30-9:30 a.m. at .
Speakers include ., financial advisor with Edward Jones; Jerry Ghirardo of ; and Daryl Weinroth from the . They will discuss market volatility, the 2011 economy, 2012 tax law changes and estate planning.
The event is sponsored by Bill Hoopes, mortgage loan officer at PNC Mortgage.
Admission is $25 for chamber members and $35 for non-members. The registration deadline is Nov. 7. For more information, check the Novato Chamber of Commerce .