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Glen Park Library and Food Court

We asked, you told. To our friends in Glen Park, we thank you all for your excellent tippage. One tipster pointed out we had an outdated image, so a fresh one's above.

Construction's supposed to be completed April 1. Since that's tomorrow, that completion date appears unlikely but based on the project's history, our hats are totally off to the developers who managed to get it this far.

Some debate about the location of the market in the complex- Canyon Market rather than Bi-Rite, since Bi-Rite pulled out of the deal when the developer changed in 2003. We think it will occupy the big ground floor with the library upstairs. Then again maybe not. One tipster said the market's requirement for a full-scale kitchen and ventilation slowed the project down, but considering that the original grocery burned down in 1998, that seems to be an exaggeration. Canyon Market is the project of Janet and Richard Tarlov, formerly of Oakville Grocery, and they're scheduled to open August 1.

Seventeen condo units. In various stages of completion, apparently. Maybe that's what's getting finished by tomorrow- does that mean open house on Sunday? Two below-market rate?

Design? Bland, but again, kudos for trying to make it look like a cluster of buildings, which suits the otherwise charmless jumble that is downtown Glen Park. The two-storey main block looks like an early-20th century commercial building, and the condos look just like the 70's spec housing that covers the hills above. In a few years no one will notice it, especially if they plant a few trees. But it's brilliant for Glen Park commuters- food, books, maybe home even- if they can learn to use their feet. The culture of double parking around the Bart station no doubt will extend to this building as well. Speaking of the Bart station- how did that get built? A neo-brutalist building with all the charms of the underside of a freeway overpass.

You can read David Prowler's account of his involvement from the empty lot in 1998 to the original developer jumping ship in 2003 How to Turn a Parking Lot into Apartments, a Library, and a Grocery Store the Hard Way. Difficult civics lessons plus swastikas and lawsuits. Rumored to be optioned by the Coen Brothers as Mixed Use.
· How to Turn a Parking Lot into Apartments, a Library, and a Grocery Store the Hard Way [SPUR]
· Pleasures of a Cheese Course [Taunton Press]