By Reggie Ellis @Reggie_SGN
VISALIA – The longtime home of Midtown Sports will be converted into a restaurant and apartments.
At its Aug. 27 meeting, the Visalia Planning Commission approved a conditional use permit for the building at 117 E. Main St. to be converted from a retail space to a restaurant with three apartments units overhead.
According to the documents, the restaurant will occupy the ground floor and mezzanine, or second floor, of the building. The third floor will be split into three apartments ranging from 763 square feet to 1,543 square feet. Each apartment will have full kitchens and bathrooms and have private access from a shared hallway.
Apartments being built over commercial spaces is not a new concept in downtown but is still somewhat rare. Troy Korsgaden was the first to do it when he added a single apartment above his New Orleans-themed Crawdaddy’s Restaurant at the corner of Main and Bridge streets in 2004. Sam and Marlene Sciacca followed suit in 2008 when they converted the top floor of their property at 114 E. Main into a single apartment. In 2014, the Sciaccas began work to build six apartments above Blend wine bar across the street, 115 E. Main St., in the former home of Link’s Menswear. And just last year a project was approved to add nine residential units to the third floor of 115 N. Court St.
The item took the commission less than 10 minutes to approve as no one spoke in favor or against and commissioners had very little discussion or disagreement. The project was unanimously approved.