What Do You Want to See Here?: The East E Street Parking Lot

What should go in this downtown space?

The East E Street parking lot is an under-utilized piece of downtown dirt. It is bounded on the north and south by alleys, on the east by East Second Street and to the west are private properties.  

There has been at least one proposal to put housing and retail on the site and continue East E Street through to East Second.  Others have opined that this is a perfect spot for a performing arts center.

Assuming the lot isn't big enough for a Trader Joe's, what would you like to see here?

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"The Black Panther of Poetry" June 25, 2012 at 11:17 PM
No improvements for now J.B. Rather, right now we could put a few white stripes down on the pavement and call it a parking space. As business progress and the City see fit to advance it. Then and only then should we invest in a Big Parking structure. Lets' play it by ear, but parking is a great starting point for this location( in-expensive parking with maybe a flee market on the weekend for now)!!!
Jackie Lawrence June 26, 2012 at 12:04 AM
Thank you Billy for your solution of realty. I also wish to see a small community center that could be used (rented) by many. Small theater groups, receptions, conference room etc. that would provide parking in complience with the fire dept limit of persons.
Geno and Bhakti June 26, 2012 at 12:37 AM
The City of Benicia can get help paying for the Solar Parking Lot Parasol by applying for GREEN incentives through the California Solar Initiative (CSI). And the East E Street lot is down by the water and should be colorful... Check out the colorful solar array @ Chase Field http://cfnewsads.thomasnet.com/images/large/603/603273.jpg
Kim Patterson June 26, 2012 at 01:37 AM
I have seen such a parking lot in Alamo, opposite a high school. Solar arrays above, serving as shading for the parking spots below. Nice symbiosis.
Robert Livesay June 26, 2012 at 02:10 AM
Geno this city is thinking green so much they have turned green. The wrong kind of green. I like green money.
Robert Livesay June 26, 2012 at 02:28 AM
JB performing arts, theatre. You must be kidding. Just who is going to pay for this I would assume the great patrons of the arts in this city are going to pony up. Ask these patrons of the arts how much they are willing to put up for this. Try nothing. Get real. No money unless someone else pays for it. JB it is simple if we all want this just expand the commercial base in the city. Get Seeno property going. These so called patrons are dreamers and that is exactly what will happen. Draem on Mayor Patterson.
Mary Julia Klimenko June 26, 2012 at 04:06 AM
Uh, I don't know, how about parking? Many years ago, when the ducks ruled First Street and there was such a thing as the Waterfront Development and Planning Commission, which the city council saw fit to disband, we did develop the beautiful waterfront plan that residents enjoy today. It took several years to do but the results were worth the time and effort. At that time we said that there wasn't going to be enough parking in the downtown area for a busy downtown, which we anticipated would be the case in the future. Well, when everyone looked out the window and saw two cars parked on First Street, one of them being a flat tire, they laughed and said it wasn't necessary. Now, it's difficult to find a place to park. When there is any kind of city activity, including the Farmer's Market, that piece of dirt is a used parking lot and lord knows where people would park if it wasn't there. I don't know. Maybe I'm so old I'm missing the obvious but if there's parking around here that I haven't noticed, please tell me where it is.
Andrea Kroll June 26, 2012 at 04:41 AM
Trader Joe's or Whole Foods would save bridge tolls and car miles for locals and bring lots of commerce downtown. I'd love to see the little creek now partially covered-over daylighted and restored. Could be a little park with a short walkway and benches. Solar panels are great on rooftops and over parking lots.
Marty Duvall June 26, 2012 at 11:48 AM
Good one.
Vickig June 26, 2012 at 02:12 PM
Did anyone answer the "Who owns the property" question?
Robert Livesay June 26, 2012 at 02:14 PM
Trader Joes and Whole Foods good. If that is such a good idea why have not these stores been here long ago? This city would be unable to support them Maybe a very small one. Best shot is Fresh and Easy. But remember the folks that do not want more cars in town. Just try the new bus stop that is coming. All to accomodate the ghost bus to nowhere. Very strange group those Enviro Greenies. Mean feel but not directed. Commerce first then all the green stuff.
David Johnston June 26, 2012 at 04:26 PM
The Fresh & Easy Market is an intriguing idea (I put in a location suggestion) but if Trader Joe’s has already blown Benicia off due to lack of demographics, I don’t hold much hope for F&E. Parking downtown is always an issue for the big events, so the loss of the E street lot would make a bad situation worse. The same for developing any further retail space, plus there is space unoccupied now. Money is tight, so for now, I would like to see the area paved and striped and develop a plan for a two story garage with metered parking. We could still cover the upper lot with solar panels so no trees would have to be removed.
Riley Willerson June 27, 2012 at 12:07 AM
Section 8 Housing is not going to even be considered, lets be honest, yes we need it but you would soon see Red clothes flashing, hats on side ways, pants lowriding, etc in the middle of First street, thats not racist its a fact. that may sound harsh,but here is another fact: all people in section 8 housing are not hoods, there are many elderly, single moms, single dads, disabled and mentally ill who do thier best to make it. Better yet when the Obama care is shut down, how about a A group Home / Mental health facility, or community health clinic, am i dreaming? And Robert Trader Joe's will not make it, Fresh and Easy is no different than the Greenies Trader Joe's. My vote is for a Parking lot, we need it.
RJ Stewart June 27, 2012 at 12:23 AM
How about relocating the Benicia Visitor Centor there, in a pre-fab with parking all around it. Remodel the current Visitor Centor to house an upscale restuarant (at its expense). While it may hurt some of the pretenders in the area it would probably bring guests within a 15 mile radius who'd enjoy eating a perfectly cooked steak (salad for the greenies) while enjoying a romantic sunset throughout the year.
"The Black Panther of Poetry" June 27, 2012 at 01:03 AM
Riley you almost completed a well thought out intelligent rebuttal and solution to a problem without insulting anyone or thing. Keep it up Riley, the second (100thdred time) is a charm. I have faith in you!!! Trogladytes get lonely too!!!
RJ Stewart June 27, 2012 at 02:24 AM
That would be center NOT centor.
Robert Livesay June 27, 2012 at 03:34 AM
The big problem is I do think is we are all doing our best to present nice ideas. The big issue is most of us do not have a clue. I do believe I do. What is the zoning?: Do any of you folks that comment know? You may. So tell us. This is not a popular thing to say, but do not ask the folks what they want. You will be over whelmed with futuristic and strange ideas. It kind of reminds me of the state park. It it good? Yes. why the city and not the state. I do believe the state is shuting them down and not the city. Lets just say that the folks that enjoy the park all give say $20.00 a month to keep the park opem. On top of that you get a sticker that says I paid everyone else out. Now that is not going to sit well with the entitlement folks. But very difficult decisions must be made. So now stand up and make decisions and get off your free soap box. We may not like it but there is price for everything. Time to figure out where and what price you will pay. But also remember as you make that decision the entitlement folks are going to go after you big time. Make your decision now. Stand up and be counted and quit complaining. Go Romney
T. Gunter June 27, 2012 at 04:17 AM
I think it would be a great location for an indoor ski resort, similar to the one they have in Dubai. Then folks would come from all around to ski all year long in Benicia. You're welcome.
JB Davis (Editor) June 27, 2012 at 05:14 AM
T, Always thinking near the edges of the box. Now if we could just get Dubai's oil revenues everything would be fine.
Ari Soglin June 27, 2012 at 06:08 AM
I'm not sure, but if I'm reading the assessor maps correctly, these are parcels 0089371030 and 0089372090. I can't find owners listed online based on parcel numbers, but I can see that $0 tax was paid. So, I'm guessing these are city-owned lots.
Riley Willerson June 27, 2012 at 08:04 AM
Did everyone forget, that we voted regarding a $15 per year assessment fee that would have kept our parks open? Seems everyone cries about the parks closing, yet they are the same people who voted "No" to the 15 dollars assessment to our Property taxes.
JB Davis (Editor) June 27, 2012 at 03:37 PM
The city owns the lot.
JB Davis (Editor) June 27, 2012 at 03:41 PM
Bob, I'm not trying to identify sources of funding for a preferred project. My interest is in seeing what the readers would like to see on this spot, not how they propose to pay for it.
JB Davis (Editor) June 27, 2012 at 03:45 PM
I don't think Trader Joe's is blowing us off due to demographics. It's probably more to do with the fact that there are three Trader Joe's stores within easy driving distance of Benicia.
JB Davis (Editor) June 27, 2012 at 03:48 PM
I believe that was a vehicle license fee increase to keep the parks open.
Riley Willerson June 27, 2012 at 05:06 PM
thanks JB for the update, I voted for it, $15.00 added to License fee's was a great idea to keep CA parks open.
T. Gunter June 27, 2012 at 05:13 PM
That's easy, JB. Invade Dubai.
Winter June 28, 2012 at 11:49 PM
A walking garden, a park, a water-feature, lots of trees and benches to bring our morning coffee to or read a book in...that would be a nice use for the land. why should the cars get all the nice pieces of land?
RidinLow June 29, 2012 at 12:15 AM
Billy..if only it were that simple right? a big parking garage would never get enough usage. agree with that, I think there are a number of folks who would shop in town for things they cant get at a safeway or raleys if a Whole Foods were here..Trader Joes is good also but does not have as much as Whole Foods...IMO
Robert Livesay June 29, 2012 at 04:06 AM
Winter how much are you willing to pay for that wonderful expieirence. Try nothing.lGet with the program man.


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