I am anxiously awaiting news of the recommendations from the  RAAB from today’s meeting regarding West Street Market.  The recommendations may be a moot point, once the City Council weighs in on Wednesday.    Some history:

–        WSM was originally envisioned as primarily a farmer’s market, a Mercantile occupancy type.  M is generally 30 SF/OCC, 1 toilet per 500 occupants.  The original toilet count was probably adequate for this use.

–        By opening, the north building of WSM had morphed into what is really a food court with accessory retail uses.  This is an A2 occupancy type, 5-15 SF/OCC, 1 toilet per 75 OCCs for restaurant, 1 per 40 OCCs for nightclub.  A2 occupancies also have more stringent construction and life safety standards

–        A2 occupancy is allowed on the site due to its MUDR zoning classification.

–        The Building Department never should have issued permits for the original tenants based on the real A2 occupancy type, unless the restrooms were expanded.

–        If the whole north build is in fact A2, many of the improvements Se7en needs for the cabaret license should have been installed as part of base building improvements, including the exit signs, panic hardware, and doors swing out of the space.  I do not see the need to separate Se7en’s nightclub occupancy from the rest of the Market’s restaurant occupancy – they are the same occupancy type – nor the need for sprinklers, unless they should have originally been installed for the A2 occupancy.

–        Se7en’s nightclub occupancy is denser than for just restaurant space, and that may trigger the need for additional toilets over what would otherwise be required.  That would take a detailed study, and might depend on just how many people they want to accommodate.

–        I think the city can just wave their magic wand and say everything is A2, but they will have to correct the existing deficiencies.  It’s only money.

That geeky enough for you?  WSM is probably an illegal occupancy as it has developed.  Promoting and advancing the businesses that are making money there will require infrastructure improvements – who pays?

I love WSM as a concept, and I only post this analysis so that everyone is as informed as possible in their decision making.