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Redding Downtown Dream Coming True

Three and a half years have passed since Brent Weaver put in motion plans to bring a little creativity to a downtown development venture, and hopefully spark some much needed economic energy in the downtown area. The multi-use Gateway building downtown is coming along nicely and, after months of anticipation, will be ready soon.

The lot at Shasta and Market streets recently served as a storage area for large equipment and the roof scrappings during the removal of the Mall in Downtown Redding’s roof. But now the exterior of the 1300 Market St. building is pretty and modern and, so far, the Gateway reeks of economic promise. Currently, 70 percent of the retail space has been leased Weaver said Tuesday, Dec. 29, in his upstairs office at Weaver Lumber on Westside Road.

“People have been approaching me to get signed up for a space. It’s nice,” Weaver said. Upstairs boasts four office suites, two of which are already taken – one for Weaver and the other for New Image Studio – as well as three 1,110-square-feet apartments. Residents of the upstairs spaces can expect to move in soon. Weaver said two of the three apartments – which go for about $1,000 a month – are already leased out.

“We’ll be moving in after the first of the year,” Dan Richelieu, who owns New Image Studio with his wife, Julia, said. “We like the downtown location. There’s a lot of visibility on that corner. And with what Brent”s doing with it, it’s more of an upscale image, which is what we’re going for.”

Downstairs is still waiting on final aesthetic touches but is set to house the much-talked-about teppanyaki-style Japanese restaurant Kobe Seafood and Steakhouse (scheduled to open in March), among other retailers.

Food is prepared and served at six food stations. Or people are invited to sit at an octagonal bar in the center of the restaurant, order a glass of wine and chat while sushi is sliced and prepared barside. This may sound familiar to those who have visited a Benihana chain restaurant. There will also be a dining area with traditional table seating.

“There’s no teppanyaki-style restaurant in Redding,” Kobe owner Vicki Keller said in a phone interview. “Redding’s got the population to support something like this. We’ve heard a lot of people are waiting for us to come.”

About 2,000 square feet of retail space are still available downstairs.

It’s no secret the picture of the economy is nowadays painted inopportune, plagued by dismal hope for new ventures, but Weaver has hope.

“It’s not the greatest time to develop,” he said, “and people have questioned what I’m doing. I just tell them I feel very fortunate that enough of the spaces are leased out. I’d like to see them all full, but we’re in the black right now.”

Weaver, a 30-something family man with business savvy, isn’t surprised at how the building is turning out.

“I’ve done a lot of development in the past six years. This has been fun – there are a lot of collective efforts going into this. But no, I’m not surprised with how it’s turned out. This is exactly what I saw from Day 1,” he said.

Weaver was born and raised in Redding, and spent some time in the San Francisco Bay area. While living in the colorful, eclectic Berkeley, Weaver was introduced to the idea of multi-use buildings – those that combine residential and retail and/or office occupancies. When he returned to Redding six years ago, the opportunity and calling for such a place were present.

Weaver, of longstanding Weaver Lumber, bought the prime location from his neighbor. He  secured a $476,000 loan from the Redding Redevelopment Agency for residential construction costs for the Gateway building, contingent upon building low- and moderate-income housing.

Joshua Corbelli is a freelance writer and photographer who practices linguistic magic in Redding. He can be reached at joshua.corbelli@gmail.com.