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Local News in Brief : New Structural Study of Old Market Planned

February 04, 1988

After receiving only one proposal to renovate the old Peirano's Market in downtown Ventura, city officials said this week that they will conduct a more thorough structural analysis to determine the cost of rehabilitating the 111-year-old landmark.

City officials, who had been hoping to make the structure a showpiece in their downtown revitalization effort, said uncertainty about renovation costs discouraged many prospective developers from submitting proposals for a tourist-oriented commercial project there.

"We had a structural analysis done, but it wasn't an in-depth one," said Marilyn Coen, the city's associate planner.

"Unless you have a complete and thorough evaluation by a structural engineer, you really don't know" how much repairs would cost, she said.

The sole proposal, which came from Ventura Realty Co., was to build an Italian restaurant and delicatessen, with an outdoor dining area in Figueroa Plaza. Although city officials described it as a satisfactory proposal, they said they want to solicit others before making a decision.

The building, which has been boarded shut since Nick Peirano decided to retire in 1986 after a lifetime in the grocery business, was bought by the city last year with a grant from the state Office of Historic Preservation.

Last November, the City Council, acting as the Redevelopment Agency, sent out 95 information packets in the hope of sparking a developer's interest in putting a restaurant or specialty shop in the Main Street structure.

To assist the developer in making the necessary structural repairs, the city has set aside $100,000 for a low-interest loan.

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