With poll: Zingerman's Deli outlines proposed $4M to $7M expansion plans
Melanie Maxwell | AnnArbor.com
Zingerman’s Delicatessen whipped up a new recipe to expand Monday when it hosted a public meeting to solicit community and neighborhood reaction to a proposed planÂ that would add a 9,500-square-foot addition to the east of the existing building.
The proposal also calls for demolishing one of two wood frame buildings considered historically significant by the city’s Historic District Commission.
It is the second time in less than two years that Zingerman’s has tried to expand its retail campus across from Kerrytown.Â
The Historic District Commission stopped the iconic deli's first attempt when it ruled in 2008 the owners could demolish a garage near the deli’s Detroit Street location, but two buildings on their parcel - a fire-damaged and boarded up house at 322 E. Kingsley and a bright orange house between the deli and Zingerman’s Next Door called the Annex - couldn't be razed because of their historic importance.
Zingerman’s latest plan calls for razing the East Kingsley house, which is vacant, to make space for the two-story addition. But it would incorporate the Annex into the expansion design.
Project cost are estimated between $4 million and $7 million. The site will be submitted to the Planning Commission by March 29 so it can be considered at the April meeting, saidÂ Paul Saginaw, one of the deli’s co-founders.
If Zingerman’s can win site plan and other approval from the Planning Commission and City Council - along with securing financing - it can return to the HDC for consideration, said Jill Thacher, a city planner and historic preservation coordinator.Â
Four criteria will be used by the commission in its ruling, including whether Zingerman’s can show the demolition and expansion project would benefit the community.
That’s the argument Zingerman’s will make, Saginaw said.Â
There is no way to expand without demolishing the East Kingsley house, Saginaw said. And Zingerman’s would prefer to also remove the Annex. Incorporating the Annex into the expansion will cost an additional $750,000, Saginaw said, in part because its foundation must be raised to make it even with the existing building.
Zingerman’s is anxious to expand sooner rather than later, Saginaw said.
Quarters are tight, the kitchen is minuscule, the humidity created from the kitchen is damaging the deli’s brick faÃ§ade - a historic building itself - and interest rates are low. If plans proceed on schedule, and Zingerman’s wins the blessing of the HDC, construction would begin in early 2011 and be completed by spring 2012.Â
“There is no guarantee that the HDC will approve this,” Saginaw said. “But this is the route we have to go. Unfortunately, it’s a very expensive route. But we need it.”
The expansion would still use the existing deli as the front entrance to Zingerman’s, which would continue as retail space. The deli would flow into a glass atrium that would connect the existing deli with the addition.Â
The kitchen and food prep areas - along with additional seating, bathrooms and offices - would be part of the addition. It would double the deli’s seating capacity, double the kitchen space and triple the number of bathrooms.
The expansion would include green building options such as natural ventilation and daylight, high-efficiency cooking equipment, a green roof on part of the existing building and a harvesting green roof where rainwater would be collected on the addition, said Kenneth A. Clein, principal with Quinn Evans Architects.
Many of the neighbors and community members at the meeting supported the expansion.Â
Carl and Elaine Johns, who own Treasure Mart down the street from Zingerman’s, threw their support behind the expansion. Carl Johns said demolishing the East Kingsley house was not a problem for him.Â
“It’s an eyesore,” he said. “It’s not like you’d lose a beautiful Victorian building. It’s a burned out old building.”
But others expressed concerns. Patrick Thompson, who owns a nearby gallery, said he does not back the plan and would not do so until the city, neighbors and Zingerman's develop a plan to mitigate the loading zone problem. He pointed to 90-foot delivery trucks parking in the streets as a hazard for pedestrians and drivers.
Editor's note: This story has been corrected to accurately portray the position of Patrick Thompson, who does not support the expansion.
Janet Miller is a freelance writer for AnnArbor.com. Reach the news desk at firstname.lastname@example.org or 734-623-2530.