FUTURE OF THE PILLARS ON GOVERNMENT
The new Pillars operator, Ms Rebecca Persekian, has worked with Leinkauf and others to address concerns neighbors have expressed regarding her application for a Variance to operate a piano lounge in addition to the events venue previously operated at this location.
We are happy to report that Ms Persekian has openly discussed her plans and has embraced the expectations we’ve presented for our historic Government Street corridor.
The Pillars Variance, case 6405, comes before the Board of Adjustment on Monday, Sept. 13th. The meeting will be by Zoom for participants and livestreamed for view on YouTube (See instructions at the Board of Adjustment meetings portal.)
The new operator is not seeking a rezoning from B1 to a more intense use. The site will remain B1, Buffer business. She is, however, seeking a Variance to add a piano lounge to the current Events venue variance. Her plans sound lovely, but as in all such cases, the problem is not the operator's current plan, but what may be allowed in the future under that same Variance. Variances, like Zoning, run with the land unless there is an interruption of a specific time period. Each category is fairly broad, and approval for a piano lounge also approves a late hours nightclub, for example, which would not be contributing or appropriate at the site.
A compromise is a Voluntary Exclusion Covenant which the current operator may submit as a part of the Variance and which excludes those more intense uses which are not compatible with the surrounding area, in this case historic districts on historic Government Street, next door to an established church, St. John's Episcopal.
The operator, Ms Persekian, has been cordial and cooperative, and has agreed to a reasonable list of exclusions that are currently, or may become in future, part of any zoning or variance for a "lounge." She agrees to exclude:
nightclub, distillery, microbrewery, music club for the promotion of acts for a fee, hookah lounge.
In addition, she has excluded adult entertainment as defined by Mobile's Code, and has excluded on the Events venue side a circus or a carnival for any purpose other than community, charitable fundraisers or children's carnival.
As a result of her desire to support our vision for Government Street and our surrounding historic districts, we support her Variance before the Board of Adjustment on Monday, September 13th at 2pm. The meeting will be by Zoom, and will be livestreamed on YouTube. See instructions for joining the meeting on the Board of Adjustment portal: cityofmobile.org/planning, View Website, choose Boards and Commissions, Choose Board of Adjustment.
We look forward to welcoming a reopening of The Pillars in Leinkauf, and enjoying a beautiful piano bar in addition to the events use of that site. Joining other successful Leinkauf commerce such as The Spiffy Fox and Stokley’s Garden Center, we continue to seek long term, low intensity, locally owned or leased businesses in appropriate, currently vacant spaces that serve immediate neighborhood needs and contribute to the vibrancy of Leinkauf and its historic legacy. We anticipate a well run, enjoyable venue at the Pillars that will contribute to the historic district and Government Street experience in midtown!
Let's hope the vacant Dexter @ Government corner will soon become the home to similarly viable commerce or residences we can welcome to Leinkauf.