The owner of the Platypus Pub property on NE Third Street intends to complete an application with the city of Bend to redevelop the site as a drive-thru coffee restaurant.
Platypus Pub won’t move anytime soon, however, because the property owner said he’s not sure whether he’ll act on the permit, even if it’s granted. “We may do something; we may not,” said Jake Ertle, co-owner of Third Street Marketplace LLC.
The site plan Ertle filed in March calls for tearing down the Platypus Pub building, a former church, on the northwest corner of Third and NE Lafayette Avenue, as well as two other retail buildings to the north.
Ertle and his father, Rusty Ertle, would build a 2,000 square-foot drive-thru coffee restaurant, which Jake Ertle declined to name.
Then under separate permits, they would create, on parcels to the north, a 25-stall public parking lot and a second one-story retail building.
“This is not exactly what we had in mind, I don’t think, when the city raised the height limit and allowed mixed-use development,” said Aaron Henson, senior planner in the community development department.
The Platypus Pub site is in the Bend Central District, which the city created in December 2016 to encourage dense redevelopment. Buildings can be as tall as 65 feet or, if they meet additional standards, 85 feet. A wide array of commercial uses, including hotels, restaurants and clinics, are permitted. Residences are also permitted if they’re part of a mixed-use building.
“The parking requirements in this area are very low,” Henson said.
And that’s the rub to Jake Ertle, who said he agrees with the vision of the Bend Central District. “The code is not real-world,” he said.
Developers have not taken advantage of the Bend Central District code for a number of reasons, including a lack of parking, Ertle said. “If they want density, somebody’s got to build a parking structure,” he said.
The Central District code limits surface parking tied to businesses. A 2,000 square-foot restaurant, like the one the Ertles are proposing, could have a maximum of three stalls, Henson said. The Ertles’ plan gets around that limit by using an adjacent parcel to create a commercial public-use lot, which is permitted under the code, he said.
Because of potential controversy over Third Street Marketplace, city planners have slated it for review by a hearing officer, Henson said. While the coffee restaurant and parking are permitted outright, the drive-thru portion of the restaurant will require a conditional-use permit.
If the plan for Third Street Marketplace is approved, the Ertles will have another two years to act on the permit. The Ertles acquire property along primary arteries and have developed several retail and commercial centers in Bend and Redmond. “We’re long-term hold guys,” Jake Ertle said. “Our time frames are 20 to 30 years.”
The Platypus Pub site was targeted for redevelopment even before the Ertles acquired the property in February 2016. They filed their application last month to beat recent development code changes. One code revision would have required the Ertles to create parallel parking and build a wider sidewalk along Lafayette Avenue, Henson said.
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