At tonight's standing-room-only Plan Commission meeting, 80+ people attended to hear the application of conditional use by Sal's Pizza, who will move in to the location formerly occupied by Ciao Café in July.
After little debate, and a unanimous vote, Katie Pritchard announced "Welcome to Whitefish Bay, Sal's Pizza!"
(Oh, yes. In other business, the Plan Commission thricely voted unanimously to permit Sendik's to expand their offices, Skin Guru to open, and Aurora/Advanced Health to open a clinic on the old Talbot's/Famous Footwear property.)
What can I say? I knew it would be extraordinarily difficult for the Village to turn down a multi-billion dollar corporation to occupy a long-vacant location on Silver Spring. Tremendous kudos goes out to Boulder Venture, who fought the winning fight, holding out for years to find that one solid renter with deep pockets, regardless of its benefits to the Village as a whole.
I remain in belief that the Village lost a tremendous opportunity tonight, not just to hold out for something better, but to send a signal to prime property owners that they are required, by the decision of the people, to find tenants that move the district forward and do better than "not hurt." -- In the end, Sal's Pizza, with its tiny footprint, will benefit Silver Spring and surrounding businesses far more than the health clinic.
(In other news, a reader emailed me that a single buyer will purchase all three units on the top floor to create one residence in the 5600 Lake Drive condo building. Who owns 5600 Lake? None other than Boulder Venture. With Aurora winning tonight, the champagne is flowing down at BV headquarters.)
(Thank you to KM for tonight's photo.)