Plans Stalled for Former 6 Degrees on Solano – Any Ideas?

A tentative proposal for a specialty market like Berkeley's Epicurious Garden to fill the space formerly occupied by 6 Degrees on Solano (near Carmel) hasn't been heard from for many moons, and no new plans have emerged.

A reader asked us what's going on with the empty space at 1403 Solano Ave. in Albany that was formerly occupied by the 6 Degrees on Solano restaurant.

We asked City Planner Anne Hersch, who said there's been no further word from the architect who presented a tentative plan for discussion only at the Planning & Zoning Commission meeting on May 8 last year.

That plan – presented by architect Y. Min Chung – was to increase the size of the building on that lot to accommodate a market like Berkeley's Epicurious Garden on the ground floor and add five condos on a second floor. The concept was supported by the three members of the planning commission who took part in the discussion, though each had concerns about specific elements. (A copy of the staff report on the proposal is attached to this article.)

Since then, there's been no update on that plan or new proposals for the property brought to the city, Hersch said.

"At this time, I am not aware of any other plans being considered for that space," she said.

The 3,000-square-foot space has been empty since 2010 when 6 Degrees on Solano closed. A Patch article last June asking readers what they'd like to see there received suggestions for several uses, including a bakery, a diner and a nail salon.

We'd like to hear any new ideas on what you'd like to see there. Please tell us in the comments.

gretchen davidson January 30, 2013 at 04:12 PM
How about something like Market Hall? the one on 4th street and in Rockridge are always bustling!
lindy January 30, 2013 at 04:50 PM
Traffic is a concern. And there is no parking. I like the idea of a market though
Robert Marshall January 30, 2013 at 06:15 PM
I was at that meeting, and it seems to me I remember the big deal being the parking in the condos. At least one member of the PZ brought up the feasibility of spending all that money to retrofit the building with the new features needed vs. just tearing the whole thing down and building from scratch. I think it was a question of exactly how historical the building really was, and whether it was worth saving.
Robert Smith January 30, 2013 at 06:56 PM
"received suggestions for several uses, including a bakery, a diner and a nail salon." That nail salon suggestion was a joke, Mr. Burress. You'd have to actually read Patch to be able to have figured that one out.
Brian Parsley January 30, 2013 at 07:24 PM
It is probably better to leave it vacant as any project would be bogged down for years by special interest groups and nimbyism.
Ken January 30, 2013 at 09:06 PM
Those plans sound suspiciously like it would be a mega-mall
Paul O'Curry January 30, 2013 at 11:29 PM
How about a Brew Pub, Brian. Cant have too many !!!
Matt F January 31, 2013 at 12:00 AM
I vote for a medical marijuana dispensary. Those are pretty uncontroversial.
Senior A. Titude January 31, 2013 at 12:42 AM
It will never happen, but in my foodie dreams, Emporio Rulli (in Larkspur) would open a location on Solano. We don't really have a full service specialty bakery with sit down service, coffee bar, light lunch, etc. Their prices are reasonable, the food is great and so is the coffee. I drive over the bridge just to visit them. Sigh.
Paul O'Curry January 31, 2013 at 03:05 AM
Just close by ... Cafeina is expanding... maybe could add extra pastries etc. We have had many full servce bakeries over the years ... Grace,... Harries in two locations including where Talavera is today. How ecological is it to drive to Larkspur just for coffee. Try Sam's Log Cabin for excellent food and a sense of history !!
Steven Steve January 31, 2013 at 06:01 PM
@ Brian - An astute observation!!! Marijuana dispensary, markets, breweries, nail salons, etc...all have small groups of people who come out and are just vocal enough to stop projects. I look around Albany and I see my city stuck in the amber of political non-leadership. IF we did have the proposed Marijuana dispensary from 2 years ago, the generated revenue for our city coffers could have been more than $2,000,000. Put that in your fiscal pipes and smoke it :)
Dover January 31, 2013 at 08:15 PM
Bless your heart. News flash! Your pothead candidates lost the election. ;-)
Senior A. Titude February 01, 2013 at 12:43 AM
Paul, we clearly have different ideas of what makes a full service bakery. Rulli has Italian pastries of all varieties and nothing over here compares. And since I only use my car twice a month, I don't feel too bad about driving to Marin (I combine it with other activities). If i could Bart and take my bike, I would, but that's another issue. I don't go for the coffee (actually roast my own beans) I go for the calories ;-) Sam's is great but not for when I'm needing pastry fix.
Steven Steve February 01, 2013 at 07:58 PM
Awe thank you. Not surprising your logical processing remains the same. I wonder if opining as to why Albany's business sector is dwindling will continue to yield the same smashing results as your previous years of opining...or the previous years of obtuse politicians (your narrow minded candidates who are now incumbents) will again deliver a list of reasons why things are pretty much the same and continuing to trend downward. Our zeal to hang on to the past, seems to be slowly hanging our cities progress under the guise of maintaining our small town-ness. You have to admit...$2,000,000 in the cities budget would solve a lot of problems. ;-)
Dover February 02, 2013 at 06:15 PM
"Awe" = a highly appropriate albeit inadvertent admission of truth. ;-)


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