A proposal to tear down two buildings in the 1100 block of Main Avenue and a building on Narrow Gauge Avenue was floated during a Historic Preservation Board meeting Wednesday.
The plans for the buildings that house the radio station, X-Rock 105.3-FM; FastSigns; and Jita Contracting are in the exploratory stages, said Joel Aguilar owner of Jita Contracting.
Formal plans were not presented, but Aguilar did ask for the board members’ opinions on replacing the buildings with a mixed-use project that would include commercial store fronts and residential units.
“I don’t see I would have any issue with you improving the look of that facade,” board member Judi Mora said.
Chairman David Singer also voiced support for the demolition of the buildings.
The buildings were built around 1900, but in the 1980s, they were determined to be a noncontributing part of the historic district because they have been substantially altered, according to summary of the project.
Documents from the U.S. Department of the Interior dated 1983 state the buildings no longer have architectural integrity or features that contribute to the historic district.
However, the final decision on the value of the buildings resides with the board, city planner Savanah Jameson said.
“The teeth are at the local level for historic preservation,” she said.
None of the board members voiced opposition to the project, but the board’s view could change when new members are appointed next month. Three members of the board will retain their seats, city planner Vicki Vandegrift said.
Singer encouraged Aguilar and others to consider using some of the rock from the Narrow Gauge Avenue building as part of the facade of the new building or in some other way.
The building was constructed in 1889, and it adds some value to the area because it is in its original context, he said.
“It’s a rare example we have of an industrial building that has character,” he said.
The stones are expected to be salvaged and used in the new building, Aguilar said.
Singer also asked that the design of the new buildings take into account the rhythm of commercial store fronts.
“I am anxious to see what you guys come up with,” he said.