A lot in downtown Atlantic that has been on the real estate market since 2008 may be sold. During Wednesday night’s City Council meeting, it was revealed that a tentative offer has been made for site of the former Old Hotel, at 314 Walnut Street.
The lot at 314 Walnut Street owned by the City of Atlantic is for sale, and may be used for a sports bar/restaurant, office space and upscale condo’s.
Mayor Dave Jones explained why the structure was torn down to begin with a few years back. He said it was because it was an eyesore and a dangerous, vacant building. The City had hoped to recoup the taxes it’s lost since the building was demolished and the site cleaned-up and made available for purchase.
The prospective buyer, Jacob Weitzel, told the Council he and his grandmother would like to build a structure on the site that could serve as a sports bar, restaurant, office space and upscale condominiums. Weitzel said the restaurant is sorely needed in the downtown area, due to the recent closure of the Main Street Grill on Chestnut Street and Farmer’s Kitchen, just across the street from the lot, on Walnut. He said the restaurant would “Provide customers with familiar favorites as well as diverse and modern cuisine found nowhere else in our area.” He said they would also like to enhance the downtown dining experience with “A premiere sports bar,” office space on the second floor, and six-to eight luxury condominiums, depending on how much space is available.
The offer of $30,000 for the land is $20-thousand less than the current listed price. Mayor Dave Jones said he would like the City to have the “First right of refusal” for the property, in the event the proposal failed to make it to fruition. He said the City should have the right to buy the land back if that happens, rather than having the land be resold as a parking lot or other eye sore.
Currently, the land is a trimmed, grassy area. City Councilman Shaun Shouse questioned why the City needed to “Control the offer” or attach strings to it, when it hadn’t done so previously. Councilman Chris Jimerson said the stipulation would also protect the potential property owners, in the event they didn’t have a buyer for the land if their plans don’t go through. City Attorney Dave Weidersteen will work with the prospective buyers to draw-up a purchase agreement. The next step would be a public hearing on the sale of the land, during a future City Council meeting.