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Landmark may be leased

The historic Heisler Building that housed the Jolly Roger for more than 50 years may be getting a new lease on life as well as new lessees to fill it.

A Tommy Bahama clothing store is planned to fill 5,000 square feet of the 400 S. Coast Highway property’s lower level and a Fred’s Mexican Cantina is should fill 6,600 square feet of the upper levels.

Sam Goldstein, the owner of the property, took recommendations from the Heritage Committee early in 2007.

The committee oversees Laguna’s historic buildings and made recommendations on how to maintain the landmark property’s character.

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Heritage Committee member Bonnie Hano said the plans Goldstein came up with were supported by the committee.

“They did a good job at making those changes,” Hano said.

But the Heritage Committee’s stamp of approval doesn’t mean the stores are ready to open their doors.

Downtown development projects have to be reviewed and approved by the Planning Commission for both design and use.

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The building was built in 1931 in the French Provincial Revival style. It was originally owned by H. G. Heisler, one of Laguna’s early developers. It was rated as a historic building in 1994.

The Jolly Roger closed down suddenly in 2006 after the operator failed to obtain a liquor license.

Goldstein, who purchased the building in August 2006 for $11 million, said he has submitted revised conditional use permit applications that eliminate rooftop dining, which the original plans had.

“The building will look beautiful and it wall have high-end businesses, it’s very Laguna-specific,” Goldstein said.

Plans also call for developing the building into a “green” environmentally friendly structure through renovations, he said.

Goldstein said there are no dates yet for planning commission hearings, or a projected opening of the new businesses.

“It’s no walk in the park,” Goldstein said. “There’s a lot involved here. It’s not wham, bam, my name is Sam.”


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