Lilburn City Council on Monday approved a $40,000 loan to the Downtown Development Authority for the purchase of the Blue Rooster Cafe property, a move aimed at getting new businesses into a hallmark Main Street building in order to shore up others in Old Town Lilburn.
The DDA will pay $160,000 for the property, DDA Chairman Norman Nash said at the council's work session. That's half the initial $320,000 asking price from the seller, a bank. Once it has aquired the building, the DDA aims to lease it to a restaurant operator or two as quickly as possible.
The building has been vacant and bank-owned since the cafe closed shortly after Christmas last year. People have expressed interest in leasing the space, but no buyers have materialized, said Doug Stacks, the city's planning and economic development director. The bank can only sell the building, not lease it.
"That building is so key to everything," said Councilman Johnny Crist during the work session.
"We hope we can get a restaurant in there a little quicker than through normal channels," Councilman Eddie Price said.
City council on Monday night also:
- Adopted a zoning resolution that "cleans up" an old ordinance and makes it clearer and more concise. Stacks pointed out that it gives property owners and developers opportunities that didn't exist before. It reduces the space required in front of houses, so that residents can add on to the front of their houses.
- Approved a fund balance policy that creates categories within the general fund to comply with state law.
- Corrected the title for Kaleigh Frederick to assistant to the superintendent/absentee balllot clerk (from absentee ballot clerk) for the Nov. 8 elections.