DOWNEY – The Downey Planning Commission recently approved plans for modifications and remodeling to the former Beach’s Market building in order for a new Vallarte Supermarket to be established. Plans for the remodeling will enlarge the currently vacant building to provide more floor area, with the addition of a new truck loading area also included. Currently the building stands at 20 feet high with more than 37,750 square feet of floor area. After the enlargements, the building will have been extended over 25 feet southward and have an added 20 feet in height.
The building’s architecture will also be altered to reflect the Hispanic community that the Vallarte Supermarkets caters to. The new architecture will call for the removal of brick, glass and other materials to make way for cement plaster finishes, accent arches, and stone veneer. When completed, the once simple market face will then be a mission style façade.
Several other features will also be added in order to enhance the beauty of the building.
The new truck loading area was an area of some concern for the remodel project, due to the residential properties that neighbor the property to the south.
Plans for the new loading area provide a 75-foot long and 12-foot high wall that will connect to the exterior of the building. The new space, which will be large enough to hold two loading trucks, conflicts with the Downey Municipal Code which requires a 46-foot building setback for commercial properties that abut residential zones.
After the building’s expansion, there would only be a setback distance of 28 feet 11 inches, bringing the supermarket about 17 feet within the minimum distance required.
The building’s new height also became an issue due to city codes.
Code Section 9534 includes a provision that sets the height requirement for commercial properties with abutting residential areas at a projected 15 degree inclined plane from six feet above the finished grade of the residential property at the property line. Though the new loading station wall would fall within these requirements, the new projected building height would conflict.
The remodel’s proposal addressed both code conflicts, stating that the neighbors of the property had dealt with the “sights and sounds associated with loading activities at Beach’s Market since 1967.” According to the proposal, the design of the new expansion would help mitigate these disturbances by minimizing truck noise and sounds generated by loading activities, and blocking views of trucks backing into the docking area.
The Planning Commission approved a variance that compensated for the code conflicts concerning the height and setback of the building’s new projections, due to the protective measures taken for the property’s residential neighbors.
The building is located in the westernmost area of the lot located at Paramount Boulevard and Imperial Highway. The lot contains three buildings, including the also vacated restaurant property that held Bakers Square until 2009.
Beach’s Market, the formerly iconic Downey business which stood in the future supermarket’s location for over 50 years, closed in 2010.
Published: April 9, 2015 - Volume 13 - Issue 52