Healdsburg winemaker Pete Seghesio has the green light to build a two-story culinary venue at the site of the city's burned post office.
The City Council this week approved a development agreement allowing Seghesio's Healdsburg Meat Co. building to go forward.
The store will feature Italian-style cured meats and sausage made on the spot, cafe, deli and wine tasting.
The 9,120-square-foot-building will include two other stores for lease and three extended-stay hotel rooms on the second floor.
Mayor Gary Plass said it was a great loss when the post office burned two years ago, but Seghesio "is such a part of our community."
The new project will "do nothing but add to the beauty" of Healdsburg, he said.
"I'm very excited about the project" said Councilman Tom Chambers, noting it occupies "a prominent spot in town."
Located on Center Street, with a columned facade and detailed cornice work, the building is designed to be easily visible from the Healdsburg Plaza, just a block to the south.
Architect Alan Cohen said Wednesday "it's hard to get people off the Plaza," but "this gives them a reason to walk that extra block."
The Planning Commission last month recommended approval. The only wrinkle was the number of on-site parking spaces — 16 — fell short of the city guidelines for 23.
To resolve that, Seghesio and his wife, Cathy, agreed to give the city up to $40,000 to develop additional parking a couple of blocks away, next to the old Purity property on North Street.
The money will be used to pave the other half of the Purity lot, now used for public parking, and for other improvements there.
City officials said that will allow for a total of 41 marked spaces on the Purity lot, about a dozen more than now.
Seghesio said he expects to go out to bid on the Center Street project this winter and to begin construction next spring. The goal is completion by April 2014.
The meat shop is a dream of Seghesio's, who learned how to make sausage from his father and wants to pass on the skills to his sons.
The business will offer "salumi," Italian for cured meats, such as salami, prosciutto, copa and sopressata. Steaks, chops and hot dogs sourced from local ranchers also will be available.
Classes and tastings from local chefs also are planned.
You can reach Staff Writer Clark Mason at 521-5214 or firstname.lastname@example.org.