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Old Restaurant Building to be Razed in Next Few Weeks

Former location of Mills Restaurant on Redwood Boulevard needs to have the asbestos removed before wreckers can come in.

A shuttered restaurant site in downtown Novato will be razed later this month after all of the hazardous materials — including asbestos — are removed from the site, several sources said.

The building at started its life in the mid-1960s as a Denny's and ended as , which closed in December. The developer wants to fill in the vacant spot with a three-story commercial building that might have a coffee shop, some sort of eatery and a service-oriented retail store.

The hazardous materials removal is to start early next week and the demolition is scheduled for later this month, according to Deed Whitney, managing member of the development company NRP II.

Now that all the special districts in the area have been notified of the impending demolition, the first phase of the tear-down will involve asbestos removal and gutting the interior to salvage all recyclable materials. Robert Cubley, senior building inspector for the city of Novato, said a demolition permit has been issued as well as the asbestos removal permit from the Bay Area Air Quality Management District. It'll be strange to see the building disappear, he added.

"I remember eating butterhorns at Denny's when I was 10 years old," said Cubley, who estimated the year as 1967.

The had hoped to conduct training drills in the building after the asbestos removal, but the developer said it wants to move forward quickly with the demolition, Deputy Chief Eric Nickel said. The fire district routinely checks for demolition permits issued and often asks for permission to conduct drills prior to the walls coming down.

"When times were good, we were getting one building a year or maybe two — even private homes," Nickel said. "But with the economy where it is, there's not a whole lot of building going on."

Cubley said all wood, concrete, metal and other reusable materials will be salvaged according to a green building ordinance passed a few years ago that limits the amount of refuse taken to the dump.

The design for the new three-tenant commercial building has gone through all the appropriate hoops (including a controversial ) and was approved by the city council on Jan. 24.

The property, located between and a , will be just a few feet from the future home of and several retail/restaurant spots at , which is taking shape now. The same architect, Crome Architecture of San Rafael, is designing both complexes.

Max Crome said his idea for the Mills spot is to create “a dynamic retail experience” an attractive bookend between the gas station and 999 Grant. 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 Novato.

Do you have memories to share from your meals at 7330 Redwood? Did you enjoy some of the other restaurants that operated after Denny's left, such as Chez Pierre? Share your thoughts below.

Worry May 09, 2012 at 02:37 PM
the city of novato issued the attached "downtown parking facts" sheet. read it for yourself so you get the "facts' directly from the city. the report states VERY clearly the following: 1. currently there are 70 spaces, 30 of which are allocated for public parking 2. there will be a net loss of parking from the 70 currently available now to 64 total available after construction 3. the report states absolutely NOTHING about any of the reduced 64 spaces being allocated for public parking. 4. the city plans on moving 60 employees to this office. they all need parking. 5. the current walker study indicates 23 people visiting city offices during peak hours. they all need parking. 6. during non peak office hours the city will require between 61-70 spaces 7. during peak office hours the city will require 83 spaces 8. the city is providing 56 spaces total on this site with another 8 on machin & cain here is the "downtown parking facts" report. click the link.. its straightforward and DIRECTLY from the city to eliminate any confusion. http://www.cityofnovato.org/Index.aspx?page=1534
Henry Markwart May 09, 2012 at 03:36 PM
Get rid of the McDonalds, and that wretched motel on Front Street too.
Christine May 09, 2012 at 06:39 PM
Maybe the new city offices should have been built across from Wyndover and the new senior housing should be built where the filthy Mission Lodge stands. That would leave way for the oringinal parking plans behind Finns.
diane May 10, 2012 at 12:55 AM
Bummer! We ate at Mills on a regular basis.
Craig Belfor May 12, 2012 at 04:35 AM
I still say we do eminent domain on the Novato Square shopping center that the owner is letting slide downward. We could put the City Hall offices in the old Delanos building, fix up the other spots for rental income, and get more bang for the buck than the new Taj Mahal the girls on the council voted for themselves, while solving a huge parking problem. The new offices would be closer than the present offices to downtown, and local business would thrive, while rejuvenating the that whole side of town.

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