Photography courtesy of Google Maps

A zoning change application has been filed to renovate and lease the apartments above the building that was once home to The Grape on Greenville Avenue.

La Sierra Planning Group submitted the application on behalf of building owner Mike Ablon, who purchased the property at 2808 Greenville Ave. in January 2020, just a few months after The Grape closed. He bought it from The Grape’s original owners, Charlotte Parker and Kathleen McDaniel, who built the two-story building in 1985 with three apartments on the top floor.

Leases show that tenants lived in two of the units from 1996 to 2020, but the spaces have been vacant since renovations began in fall 2020 on a new restaurant on the lower level.

The building is zoned for community retail. Updated zoning rules no longer allow community retail and family use on the same lot, which is why the owner must apply for an exception to restore multifamily use, said Santos Martinez, president of La Sierra.

The applicant submitted plans to upgrade utilities and reconfigure the apartments’ layout. Renovations may also include relocating the stairs in The Grape’s dining room to the south side of the building. No apartments will be added beyond the three that are already there.

“I think people want to [live there],” Martinez said. “It speaks to its proximity to everything else.”

The board will hear the case next week. Pending approval, the project will move forward quickly after that, Martinez said.

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