Two New Buildings Approved Near The Santa Fe Depot In Downtown Redlands

On Tuesday, the steady generational makeover of the downtown area of Redlands advanced, with the planning commission giving approval to two new buildings.
A limited liability company known as Redlands Railway District, LLC formed with the specific goal of developing property in close proximity to the Santa Fe Depot. Redlands Railway District proposed the Packing House East project to be located at 333 Orange Street, at the southwest corner of Orange Street and Al Harris Lane. The site falls within Redlands’ Town Center-Historic District, which is delineated in the city’s Downtown Specific Plan.
The surrounding land uses consist of the Santa Fe Depot, which the city has designated as Historic Landmark 38, and the Redlands Chamber of Commerce Building, designated as Redlands Historic Landmark 40, both to the north; Denny’s restaurant and a law office which was previously Home Savings and Loan to the south; the Romano’s Pizzeria, Aroi Mak Mak and the Flamingo restaurants to the east; and the historic MOD Packinghouse, which is currently under renovation to become a multi-tenant food hall, to the west
The general plan designation on the property is commercial.
The northeast portion of the 1.67-acre property has one existing retail building, a FedEx/Kinko’s shop, which is to remain along with a parking lot. The westerly side of the subject properties is vacant and unimproved, and that is the portion of the site proposed for new development, which is to consist of one 7,973-square foot restaurant building and one 3,839-square foot retail building. In addition, the applicant will complete an associated new parking lot and further site improvements. Those site improvements include upgrading to the exterior façade as well as improving the ADA-access ramps and other accessibility features at the FedEx/Kinkos retail operation.
The 7,973-square foot restaurant/food service building will feature an approximate 1,598-square foot outdoor dining patio, which will be located between the existing FedEx/Kinkos operation to the east and the existing historic MOD Packinghouse to the west. The 3,839-square foot retail building will be located on the south side of the FedEx/Kinko’s building.
The total combined proposed new floor area for the buildings to be constructed is 11,812 square feet.
Redlands Railway District does not have tenants under contract for the new buildings at this time, but anticipates the restaurant building would be occupied by a single tenant.
Redlands Railway District requested and was granted a lot line adjustment to modify the interior lot lines of four parcels for development purposes, such that there will be one building on each lot after the development is complete.
Previous construction at the project site occurred in 1987 when the site was developed with an approximately 8,000 square-foot bank building, with office uses located upstairs. Currently that building is occupied by FedEx/Kinko’s as the sole tenant. Much of the project site was developed with an existing parking lot, while the remainder on the west side was left vacant and unimproved.
In 2018, an application was made by a previous owner and applicant for the planning commission to review and approve the construction of a 10,000 square-foot building adjacent to Al Harris Lane and a 5,200 square foot building adjacent to Orange Street. The entitlement granted to that application has since expired and the property changed ownership. Redlands Railway District, as the new owner and current applicant, filed the new application for a similar, but revised, proposal for two new retail buildings.
Glen Feron represented the developer before the commission on Tuesday.
Feron and city staff said the building design theme will match that of earlier additions to the Packing House District, utilizing brick veneer, shed-style roofs and metal awnings.
With commissioners Steven Frasher and Matt Endsley absent, the commission voted 5-to-0 to approve the project.

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