The Edes Building – Downtown art gallery proposed on Second Street
Morgan Hill Times
December 14, 2020
Property on Monterey Road is currently the site of the pop-up park
The owner of a downtown Morgan Hill street corner property that is rich in history but hasn’t hosted a viable commercial use in over a decade may soon gain a design permit for an art gallery and retail space.
The city council on Dec. 16 will consider approval of the design permit for the property at Monterey Road and West Second Street, owned by restaurateur Dan McCranie and his son.
The property is currently occupied by the city’s “pop-up park,” and was previously the site of the Edes Building, which housed South Valley Bikes for many years until that store closed just before the 2009 recession.
The McCranies have proposed a 6,600-square-foot, two-story art gallery with contemporary style architecture, according to a city staff report. They have proposed using natural building materials, as the city’s Downtown Specific Plan standards require.
“The current program for the building includes two levels of open art gallery space with ancillary storage and office,” says the city’s staff report on the project. “Although the building is designed for a specific use in mind, the design is flexible and could be utilized and converted to accommodate other commercial retail uses long term.”
A letter from the project’s architect, Mark Oberholzer of KTGY, adds that the proposal includes a small catering kitchen and a custom art framing shop. The design is a “pedestrian-friendly retail front, with well-lit storefront windows,” reads Oberholzer’s letter.
The gallery will employ up to two full-time employees, with peak hours anticipated on weekends and early evenings, says Oberholzer’s letter.
“Although the footprint of the building is small, it is configured so that it could be easily subdivided into two retail uses—each with a separate storefront entrance,” Oberholzer wrote to city planning staff.
The Edes Building had a long history, dating back to 1910. Over the years, the building housed Telfer Grocery Store, Statti’s Corner Drug Store and Squeri Brothers Hardware. South Valley Bikes moved in in the 1980s.
Dan McCranie—owner of Ladera Grill—has wanted to open an art gallery in downtown Morgan Hill for several years, he told the Times. Such a retail space could serve as a “catalyst” for additional non-dining retail in the neighborhood, helping to complete the downtown experience for dedicated locals and visitors from out of town, he said.
He added that the proposed gallery at Second Street could serve as a venue to promote local artists and host art related workshops and special functions.
In 2016, after purchasing the property for about $700,000, McCranie demolished the structure and proposed a three-story commercial building with a rooftop deck to be used for a restaurant, art gallery and wine bar. He gained approvals and building permits for that proposal, but ultimately determined the complexity and expense of operating and maintaining such a project would make it infeasible.
Since the demolition of the Edes Building, McCranie and city staff have partnered to host and maintain the pop-up park on the Second Street property.
McCranie and his contractors first presented the current plans for the property at the Oct. 28 Morgan Hill Planning Commission meeting.The Dec. 16 city council meeting will start at 7pm and will be conducted as an online video conference. For information about how to view and participate in the meeting, visit the city’s website at morganhill.ca.gov.