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Oct. 6, 2016 - The Hampton Planning Commission endorsed two measures that would allow the former National Guard Armory building at 504-520 N. King Street to become a brewpub, distillery and concert venue. The commission approved a change in zoning to allow the uses at that site and a use permit that would allow live entertainment. The city's Economic Development Authority recently approved a deal to sell the historic property to a group that would renovate the building. Randy Thomas, the managing partner for the development group, said that the building will be very expensive to restore and develop, and part of making it work is the combination of the restaurant, brewery, distillery and live entertainment will create a venue "unlike anything on the East Coast." Thomas also said he was working to create sound wall fencing that would absorb noise and to move the patio stage away from the neighborhood, after some concerns were expressed.
In other actions, the Planning Commission:
--Approved a use permit to build a small public dock on Mill Creek on Water Street in Phoebus. A permit was previously issued but had expired. The city's Parks staff would be in charge of the pier, which would accommodate public launches of kayaks and canoes. It could also allow boaters to use a dinghy to visit Phoebus restaurants.
--Approved a live music permit for a new location for the popular Comfort Zone restaurant and dance club. The club needs to move from the current Riverdale Shopping Center, where it has been for 6 years, due to redevelopment. The new location is at 2165 Cunningham in Coliseum Corner.
--Celebrated a proclamation from Mayor Donnie Tuck naming October 2016 as Community Planning Month, noting Hampton's long and rich history of engaging residents, businesses and organizations in choices about the future of their community (see photo).
--Endorsed changes in the development that Franciscus Homes is building 1611 Power Plant Parkway. The changes allow for some of the buildings to be larger, creating more variety in floor plans and prices. The 125 units are projected to sell for between $180,000 to $250,000. The complex will include community gardens, kayak launch, walking trail.