Thursday, June 21, 2007
Foothill Partners, the developer building a new Trader Joe’s in downtown Monterey, plans to build a small retail or bank building across the street from the new grocery store and shopping center.
Honest Engines, an auto repair shop on the site at Munras Avenue and Tyler Street in Monterey, will vacate the property within a week, says Douglas Weile, president of Foothill Partners. “We now have control of the property, and we’re proposing to do a small retail building. Maybe one or two stores, maybe a bank and a store, maybe a bank only.”
Weile says the company will soon submit an application to develop the planned 3,660 square foot building. “I would hope that we might have that under construction by the end of this year,” Weile says, “and open this time next year.”
Meanwhile, Foothill Partners’ shopping center across the street, which will be anchored by Trader Joe’s and include a Peet’s Coffee & Tea and a holistic pharmacy named Pharmaca, is slated to open Nov. 15.
“We just hope we don’t dig any more whale bones out of the ground,” Weile says. “That was quite a shock. Our contractor called us and said, ‘You won’t believe what we dug out of the ground.’ ”
Monterey Senior Planner Chip Rerig didn’t believe it, either, when he got the phone call last month.
Upon discovering the 100-year-old bones, builders stopped the excavation, and called city staff to the site. “[The bones] were very dirty,” Rerig says. “You could tell one was a very large rib, and a very large vertebrae. They were really spongy—they probably had been absorbing water for 100 years—and they broke apart, almost like clumps of clay, or wet sand.”
The bones will likely end up in a city museum.
“Hopefully we can find a home for them,” Rerig says.