Byline: Matt M. Johnson
A new, three-story office building proposed for Wayzata's lakefront main drag got a unanimous "no" from the city because its design flouts numerous design rules.
Woodland resident Bob Lothenbach wants to build a 25,890-square-foot mixed-use office and retail building at 401 Lake Street E., a site that is directly across the street from Lake Minnetonka. Lothenbach, founder of Shakopee-based Imagine! Print Solutions, has offices for his current business, Lothenbach Properties, nearby at 328 Barry Ave.
The concept plan for the project ran into trouble with the city's Planning Commission on Oct. 7 over the amount parking proposed, a rooftop terrace included in the design and its failure to "step back" from the street on the second floor, a condition imposed on a number of new buildings along Lake Street. The building would also be larger than is allowed in that part of Wayzata's downtown, exceeding the city's density limit.
The 19 parking spaces proposed for the building are below the 47 the city would require, said Peggy Sue Imihy, a planning consultant who works for the city. The building would also have less ground-floor retail space than the city requires, she said. Fifty percent of ground floor space must be retail space, but only 17% of the first floor in the proposed building would be retail.
Lothenbach and project designer Peterssen/Keller Architecture did not come to the meeting asking for variances for the non-compliant items, but rather a planned unit development (PUD) designation and a request to pay a fee in lieu of providing adequate parking, Imihy said.
The building design, said Peterssen/Keller principal Gabe Keller, requires extra size.
"We really wanted a classic building that would stand the test of time," he said. "It could have been a classic bank building from 100 years ago in a small town."
Included in the design is a planted "green" roof that would help take up some of the stormwater falling on the building. The patio on that roof was included in the design to give building occupants a view of that roof, Keller said.
Commissioners denied the PUD request for the building. The concept plan will get another chance in front of the Wayzata Council at a future date.