In the past, people also weren’t as concerned about having a few cocktails and driving home, he said. “Obviously, that’s all changed for the better, and also what’s changed for the better are the non-smoking laws.”
Now the issue, he said, is the high cost of going out. Those costs correspond to food prices, Schmock said, noting that they are four or five times what they were in the 1980s.
Schmock said his family envisioned being part of the redevelopment of the property, but decided against it. One issue, he said, is that there’s a cap on how tall the building can be. He said he was interested in something at least as tall as the building next door, which is six stories.
He was initially interested in incorporating a restaurant on the ground floor, but rock underneath the parking lot behind Smoky’s makes underground parking harder to accomplish.
The amount of rock in the area makes it costly to excavate for parking, he said.
“If you’d ever seen the Smoky’s parking lot on a Saturday night, there’s cars that are filling the lot and going up on Harvey Street,” Schmock said.
Flad Development & Investment Corp., which is scheduled to make an initial informational appearance before the city’s Urban Design Commission Wednesday, is proposing one level of parking.