By Nicole Montesano • Staff Writer • 

Waiver approved for downtown project

McMinnville’s Historic Landmark Committee has tentatively approved a waiver allowing McMinnville businessman Bob Emrick to set back a proposed downtown restaurant and office space 4.5 feet from the property line.

Emrick previously stated he hopes groundbreaking for the project will be early 2014 and a grand opening in 2015. However, the landmark committee still must review and approve a set of findings to support the waiver, and Emrick must submit plans to the city building department for approval.

City ordinance normally requires new commercial buildings be set at the property line, but Emrick wants to reserve space for outdoor seating.

The five-member Historic Landmarks Committee meets as needed, to review applications for departures from the normal downtown rules. It has jurisdiction because much of McMinnville’s downtown, including Emrick’s site, lies within a designated National Historic District.

The committee is scheduled to review a set of proposed findings at 4 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 27, at the city’s Community Development Center, 231 N.E. Fifth St. The meeting is open to the public.

Buiding plans were submitted early last year, but subsequently withdrawn and changed. One such change was the removal of a hotel component, which was replaced by office spaces on the second floor. Though he has kept city officials informed along the way, Emrick has yet to formally re-submit plans.

A former glass shop on the corner of Third and Galloway streets downtown was dismantled in April 2013 to make way for what Emrick envisions as a boutique hotel complemented by conference, wine and food service facilities. He plans to open the restaurant and rooftop bar first, hopefully by the spring of 2015.

Emrick saved much of the material from the former glass shop for incorporation into the new building. He plans to call the development KAOS, taking the name from the call letters of a long-defunct radio station from the 1960s.



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