Auto dealerships mixed with new housing?

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Residents could one day live or work directly above where they buy their next car if an auto dealer’s proposal for mixing dealership office space with hundreds of housing units becomes a reality — an idea that city officials are open to exploring.

The City Council on Tuesday took the first step toward rezoning 10 parcels owned by Toyota to mix multi-family housing, hotel or other non-residential complexes with auto dealership uses. Plans are far from concrete, but the idea is that apartment units, hotel rooms or other office space would be constructed on top of dealership offices and car showrooms, with overall building heights capped at 50 feet.

The business at the center of the proposed change is Toyota Walnut Creek, which wants to expand its dealership property by six acres around its current location on North Broadway. At its core, Toyota’s mission is to build a prototype of a dealership that extends vertically — including, for instance, a showroom on the ground floor and a sales office above it. But the company doesn’t want to invest in the eventual dealership building complex alone.

“It’s an urban dealership; it costs a lot more to build, so we had to get creative,” said Stephen Scanlon of REAL Development….

Continue Reading at MERCURYNEWS.COM

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