Theater/salon solves parking problem

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January 19, 2004 // UPDATED 2:38 pm - April 24, 2007
By: Sarah McKenzie
Sarah McKenzie

Plans for a new theater and hair salon on Central Avenue, across the river from Downtown, are moving forward despite neighborhood concerns over parking.

The City Council's Zoning and Planning Committee denied the appeal filed by the Nicollet Island/East Bank Neighborhood Association (NIEBNA) at a Jan. 8 hearing. The group opposed the city's decision to grant a parking variance allowing developers to forego 13 off-street parking spaces.

However, the developers behind T.H.E. Theater Company and the Wash & Brush Up Company at 509-513 Central Ave. NE, recently secured 20 spaces from the development company Shafer Richardson at its lot at 615 1st Ave. NE.

The arrangement satisfies the neighborhood group, which has dropped its objection to

the project, according to NIEBNA Chair

Victor Grambsch.

Grambsch said the neighborhood has been grappling with a parking crunch. The East Bank area has experienced a development boom recently with more condo projects slated to go up soon.

The developers behind the planned 165-seat theater are Mark Webb, the technical director and salon's managing director, and his business partners, Mike King and Tony Thomson.

"We're moving forward," Thomson said. "We hope to be in the building by the first of April."

The developers plan to spend about $100,000 on renovating the old building, which formerly housed the New Union, a nonalcoholic teen-age music club. The building is located next to Totino's Italian Kitchen, 523 Central Ave. NE.