The company planning an enormous mixed-use development in Bishop Arts wants to build a boutique hotel of up to 120 rooms.
Exxir Capital has a $42 million project with apartments, restaurants, shops and public plazas in the works. The company, owned by the Nazerian family, is requesting a zoning change that would make its Bishop Arts acreage its own subdistrict within the Bishop/Davis zoning.
As it stands, the zoning allows for a hotel of 30 rooms or fewer, but Michael Nazerian says that’s not financially feasible. Currently the project calls for about 400 apartments, and if a hotel is not allowed, there will be more apartments instead.
The developer also is seeking the following:
- A “commercial amusement” use, which could allow a bowling alley or a convention center, among many other uses.
- A “general merchandise food store,” which allows a store up to 15,000 square feet. That is big enough for a CVS store, but Nazerian says, “that is the last thing I would want.” He envisions something more along the lines of a boutique grocer or deli. By the way, Trader Joe’s stores typically comprise 10,000-12,000 square feet.
- A “massage establishment,” which is expressly forbidden in the Bishop/Davis zoning, but Exxir would like to have a spa in the hotel.
- A “neighborhood market,” which could be a big space with commercial stalls for artisans and other vendors, along the lines of Faneuil Hall in Boston.
- Exemption from the “awning ordinance,” which requires a fee for businesses that have awnings or signs in the public right-of-way.
The Bishop/Davis zoning allows extremely dense building. Developers could build on 100 percent of the lots in certain areas, but Exxir’s development is taking about half the density than what the zoning allows.
Ground broke on a retail building for the project recently. Michael Nazerian says the start of construction was delayed in part because the development is so unusual that it was difficult to convince lenders to put the funding in place.