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Pilates Studio to Move into Long-Vacant Miller Ave. Space

Planning Commission approves an application for an exercise studio at 360 Miller Ave, which previously inhabited by Strawbridge’s Stationers.

More than a year after one of Mill Valley's oldest businesses closed and vacated 360 Miller Ave., the Mill Valley Planning Commission gave the green light for a pilates studio in the space Monday night.

Pilates Pro Works, a Pilates and Barre exercise studio with a pair of locations in San Francisco and six worldwide, is set to move into the nearly 3,600 square-foot space. It's been vacant since July 2011, when closed for the second time in two years after having been in Mill Valley since 1947.

The studio effectively replaces The Loop, which  in late 2011. The commission for that space in June.

Mill Valley resident Brian Swartz, acting as a consultant to Pilatoes pro Works and assisting with the application process, outlined the highlights of the application.

"The facility will have two class areas," he said Swartz. "One will be 1,200 square feet for the Pilates room and the other space will be 960 square-feet. The studio will be open seven days a week and will experience peak hours from six to eight in the morning."

The primary issue at Monday's meeting was parking. Swartz suggested that the retail parking standards of the space were a bit stringent for a Pilates studio.

Associate City Planner Tom Zanarini said because the studio will have two separate rooms but that only one room will be in use at any given time, the square footage-related parking requirements should reflect the largest space that will be used at the studio at any given time.

"We felt that the parking variance is justified to bring in front of the commission," said Zanarini.

Swartz noted that Tiburon, San Rafael and Novato all have a separate parking category for exercise studio spaces, and that although Mill Valley currently does not, that they should use a similar model when assessing the parking needs at the new Pro Works Pilates Studio on Miller Ave.

Commission support for the new business was unanimous.

"I think it’s a great application, I think the town would probably love to support another gym, I’m for it," Commissioner Heidi Richardson said.

John McCauley agreed, and said that he was "in the ditto zone" regarding the application.

Chairman David Rand finished with a closing statement in which he pledged his support for the space and concluded that the parking situation on Miller will be manageable.

"Half the customers will probably jog or ride their bikes anyway," he said.

sarah haynes August 15, 2012 at 04:39 PM
Kitty Charm School is excited to have this pilates studio right across from us - welcome to the neighborhood! Hopefully the parking will work out... meow!
Elizabeth Lawrence August 18, 2012 at 09:58 PM
It truly was an "end of an era" when Mill Valley Auto Parts closed. Considering how long the company owned that building and gave such great service to all walks of life in Marin, it should have received more recognition at it's end. So many long-term employees lost their jobs, including my father, who more-than-loyally worked there for over FORTY years. He probably shed enough blood, sweat, and tears working there to call the place a close relative! It is great to hear the building is finally being used again. Pilates Pro-works - welcome to Mill Valley, and take good care of that wonderful historic building.
Vicky August 19, 2012 at 11:15 PM
History from Fred Shilzony ~ this building was built in 1946 by Andy Lax, the original owner of Mill Valley Auto Parts. MVAP originally started uptown at 22 Miller. At one time, it was the only auto parts store between San Rafael and San Francisco. I was sorry to see it close with so little notice as many Mill Valley repair businesses relied on it for parts and machine shop services.

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