Concerns about parking didn’t keep Costa Mesa planning commissioners from giving a unanimous thumbs-up Monday to a planned event space, coffee shop and outdoor activity area in an office complex near John Wayne Airport.
The features are part of a proposal to renovate the four-building campus at 150 Paularino Ave. and rebrand it as Culture Yard, creating a space to appeal to modern tenants.
“We just think it has all the potential in the world to be a really dynamic employment center and be a lot different than it is today,” said Parke Miller, an executive vice president of Lincoln Property Co., which owns the site.
“Our goal is to go in, take that same physical real estate, make it cool ... create those amenity spaces so you can attract the best and high-quality tenants to this project,” Miller added.
One company that’s already signed on is FLDWRK, an office and co-working space provider that plans to move from its current site at 270 Baker St.
FLDWRK would move into Building B, a one-story, 11,762-square-foot structure on the Culture Yard property.
Under the commission-approved plans — which are final unless appealed to the City Council within seven days — 3,000 square feet of that building would be used for events and meetings and 877 square feet would be developed into a “grab and go” coffee shop.
The property’s existing landscaped courtyard would be remade into an outdoor activity space with seating for meetings or socializing, fire pits and materials for games such as bocce ball and table tennis.
“I think it’s one more indication of how Costa Mesa is kind of pushing the envelope and leading the edge on innovation in land use, particularly ... repurposing land uses that are old and quickly becoming obsolete,” said commission Chairman Byron de Arakal.
Commissioner Kedarious Colbert — who was appointed to the panel last week — called the project “an amazing design, an incredible reuse of the property.”
The one hang-up for the commission was parking. Currently, the complex has 237 spaces, but the anticipated need is 272.
As part of their approval, commissioners included a requirement that the property owner track parking demand, report it to the city and immediately address any issues.