The city of Eustis has been busy sprucing up its waterfront park in downtown, adding a playground, creating better traffic flow, landscaping, and building a new lakeside splash park to open by summer.
Now the city is turning its attention to reforming a park building that has been used as a gym for city employees, and storage. With all the new improvements, economic development director Tom Carrino thinks the 1,500-square-foot building could have a higher and better use, perhaps as a retail store or restaurant that would add even more vitality to the park and downtown.
Eustis has launched a request for proposals to lease the building at 200 N. Bay St., with the hope that a tenant can "generate positive activity in the area."
"The location is great," said Carrino. "It's on S.R. 19, Bay Street, with significant traffic count and adjacent to a lakefront park and practically adjacent to the lake."
For those interested, the city is holding an open house on Tuesday, April 26, from 1-5 p.m.
The city proposes a Triple Net lease with the leasee responsible for property taxes, insurance, and maintenance for the building, and lease terms of five to 10 years. Monthly rent would be $1,100 a month with an annual escalator clause. A security deposit and one month lease payment due at lease signing.
The city estimates it will take about $100,000 to outfit the building as a restaurant. All improvements would need to be approved by the city.
Bids will be opened in City Hall on June 14, after 3 p.m.
"It's a real opportunity for the City and the leasee," said Carrino.
The city put out requests for bids previously for potential tenants for the building, but there was only one bid.
Carrino said he thinks the initial bid request didn't give potential respondents enough time and wasn't specific enough about what would be needed in the bidding package. The new RFP allows for a 60-day bid window versus a 30 days previously, and specifies that the bidders will need to include renderings and conceptual floor plans for the proposal.
Proposal forms are available by calling 352-483-5475.
The park building isn't the only downtown parcel the city is seeking development proposals for.
Eustis has also been busy putting together a marketing package for a large space in its downtown that was left vacant when Waterman Hospital moved out a number of years ago. The plan is to attract development proposals for that land, which has been vacant for more than a decade.
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