An old automotive service station across the street from Johnny Kaw at Manhattan City Park is going to get a new look.
The Manhattan City Commission Tuesday voted to rezone a 22,500 square foot area adjacent to the park to allow for a planned restaurant, drinking establishment and bakery. Unanimously approved by the City Commission, the old service station at 1026 Poyntz Avenue will transform into Parkside Station by the end of 2020.
“It looks like a great development,” says Mayor Pro Tempore Wynn Butler. “It looks like it fits perfect, a good thing to have next to City Park.”
Extensive landscaping and renovations are planned, but the character of the circa-1967 building will be maintained. Owner Phyllis Pease is seeking to place the building on the Register of Historic Kansas Places, which will open the door for historic tax credits.
“They’re going to leave the gas station in that basic shape as like an old-timey diner?” asked Commissioner Linda Morse.
“Yep,” said Assistant Community Development Director Chad Bunger. “And that is a fairly popular use for these old buildings across the country and the state.”
Preliminary plans for the establishment show a combination of indoor dining with decoratively landscaped exterior seating and gathering spots. Parkside Station will serve food and drinks in addition to housing a local produce market. They’ll also close and narrow multiple curb cuts around the building.
“It won’t be overpowering to the neighborhood or be intrusive,” says Bunger. “[It] should — as we envision with the future land use map — fit really well.”
In addition, the formerly separately operated office building at 1018 Poyntz has come under Pease’s ownership as well and will renovated to house bakery operations for Little Batch Bakery — a related bakery catering business. The two businesses are expected to employ between 9 to 13 workers.
Morse was pleased the project will include both the former service station and the old Morning Star, Inc. buildings.
“They have been aging for all these years without much improvement,” says Morse. “This will be a nice clean-up.”
Projections show renovations wrapping in 2021.
Looking to coordinate completion with the new middle school recreation centers, Manhattan is seeking bids on the Kirkwood Drive extension project.