A proposal for developing the area around the Fox Theatre includes relocating and demolishing Angelo’s and Vinci’s Ristorante to build a 260-space parking structure topped with condos.
Another proposal would bring a pair of mixed-use buildings and a 200-space parking garage to the historic neighborhood; a third option would focus only on erecting the parking structure.
In all cases, the Fox Theatre would continue its rehabilitation on its own.
Pelican Communities, which recently proposed a few plans for the area to the City Council, is expected to receive the body’s preferred choice at an upcoming meeting.
The boutique developer would then have nine months to prepare development plans for community review and Planning Commission and City Council consideration.
Fullerton, which owns three parking lots near the Fox Theatre, has an agreement with Angelo’s and Vinci’s, located in what is dubbed the Fox Block, to make sure any development provides 200 parking spaces.
The city has $6.2 million earmarked from its former redevelopment agency funds for building a structure.
Pelican estimates the lesser projects costing $7.2 million; the most elaborate development would cost $13.6 million – however neither Pelican nor the city has reached an agreement with Angelo’s and Vinci’s to buy, demolish and relocate the restaurant. The restaurant’s owner could not be reached for comment.
“This is the premier intersection of our city,” Mayor Bruce Whitaker said at an August study session. “There’s some sense of the past there, some preservation, some harkening to the past.
“All it’s needed for some time is a resurrection of the Fox itself, and the Fox Block to be the real kickstarter.”
Whitaker and Councilman Greg Sebourn endorsed the parking structure-only project, which also would shine up Ellis Place and the Fox Alley.
“We need to focus on a parking structure, and really deliver the best parking structure we can,” Sebourn said.
“Less is more,” Whitaker added.
The rest of the council showed interest in Pelican’s other proposals.
“We have a real possibility to add to the character and vitality of our community,” Jennifer Fitzgerald said, “and to provide the parking that we agreed to long ago.”
Whitaker cautioned against the City Council engaging in land development, calling the larger projects “a carry forward of that itch that redevelopment was.”
“I believe in more organic development and the eclectic environment…