Mad River Parkway Project Breaks Ground – July 25, 2012

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Groundbreaking with LACO project manager Mike Nelson, architect Julian Berg, Ken and Ellen Zanzi and Mayor Michael Winkler. Photo by Maile McWilliams | LACO Associates

Jessica Callahan

Eye Correspondent

VALLEY EAST – With golden shovels in hand, Kenneth and Ellen Zanzi along with Mayor Mchael Winkler and designers from LACO Associates broke ground  on the Mad River Parkway Business Park last Thursday, July 12.

The mixed-use community will offer space for light industrial, commercial, professional office and residential units from Giuntoli Lane to the Mad River.

The desire is for the property to enhance the area as well as protect the existing ecological resources.

The design plan includes rain gardens, permeable paving for rainwater retention and groundwater replenishment. Bike and pedestrian paths will provide access to all areas of the community as well as public access to the Mad River. Also included are a riparian zone interpretive trail and lighting.

The Mad River Parkway project’s site plan. Courtesy LACO Associates

Ambitious as it is, the Mad River Parkway project is just part of a larger vision for a grand refurbishment of all of northern Arcata. Other elements include the extensive street improvements, parks and paths for Valley West, as well as the Mad River Community Hospital Wellness Campus, which will inlude medical and educational facilities, parks and housing. All of the projects will be linked with trails.

LACO Associates building designer Julian Berg is particularly proud of incorporating green building and sustainable design in the parkway project. “It is designed well, to work well,” Berg said.

The property has been in Ellen Zanzi’s family since the 1940s. It was owned by her father, who originally intended it to be a dairy but ended up renting it as grazing land for cattle. It has been 20 years since Ellen Zanzi first had the idea to develop the property. The Zanzis went to the City with their ideas in 2005. The City Council approved the project February, 2010.

“We are not developers, just mom and pop property owners,” said Ken Zanzi. “We feel this is a great opportunity for the city of Arcata and for the Valley East area.”

The house that currently sits at 1400 Giuntoli Lane will be moved a few hundred yards away to make room for the “backbone of the Mad River Parkway.”

Seventeen lots will be ready for sale in the next four months. Of the 17 lots, four are for apartments or multi-family residential space. The city has designated a certain percent of the housing to be low income.

For more information about the Mad River Parkway Business Center, contact Ken and Ellen Zanzi at (707) 834-0328.


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