Lenexa company offers Eudora $100,000 for old public safety building

photo by: Elvyn Jones

The Eudora City Commission is considering a $100,000 offer from a Lenexa company to buy the old public safety building at 840 Main St. The company wants to open a barbecue restaurant in the building the city now uses for storage.

A Lenexa company wants to convert City of Eudora’s former public safety building at 840 Main St. into a restaurant, and it’s offering the city $100,000 for the property.

Brothers Jay and Jason Musick, of Musick Group LLC, made their offer at the Jan. 27 Eudora City Commission meeting and shared their plans to turn the the 4,320-square-foot building into a restaurant called Barbwire Barbecue.

The city has used the old public safety building for storage since the Eudora fire and police departments moved in 2013 to a new headquarters at 930 Main St.

Mayor Tim Reazin said Sunday that the current valuation on the property is $398,000, but the City Commission realizes extensive work would be required to convert the building for restaurant use, including the complete replacement of its plumbing and heating systems.

The Musicks’ proposal would convert the building into a counter-service barbecue restaurant that would seat 48 people. Plans shared with the City Commission show that the large garage bay doors on the building’s Main Street frontage would be replaced with large windows. The restaurant would also have an outside patio space on the west side of the building, which would be separated by a railing from the sidewalk along Main Street.

In addition, the planning documents call for replacing the old public safety building’s roof and extending that new roofline to the east to cover outdoor equipment that the Musicks use in their catering business. However, the Musicks said at the meeting that financial constraints would delay the roof work for the time being. A patio on the building’s south side would also be delayed, they said.

In a memo, City Manager Barack Matite did not specifically recommend selling the building but did list a number of benefits of selling it, including the $100,000 from the sale, $3,900 in estimated annual property tax revenue and $1,600 a year in utility revenue.

The City Commission didn’t act on the request on Jan. 27. Commissioners had questions about whether the western patio would be far enough away from the street to meet state requirements for outdoor dining areas where alcohol is served. They were also concerned about whether there was adequate parking on Main Street for the business.

Reazin said Sunday that commissioners also wanted to assure that the restaurant would fit with their vision for the downtown corridor. Specifically, they were interested in deed restrictions that would limit what the property could be used for if the restaurant were to fail.

The City Commission first agreed to consider request for proposals for the old public safety building in May 2018. However, commissioners rejected the one response they received because it did not fit with the vision they had for the property. The City Commission then hired the architectural firm Rockhill and Associates, of Lecompton, to create conceptual designs for the redevelopment of the old public safety building as well as the old car wash and vacant lot across Main Street.

The plans Rockhill and Associates developed for the old public safety building would have renovated its three fire truck bays that face Main Street into retail space and the rear area of the building into offices. The firm designed a new two-story building for the site west of Main Street, which would have small offices meant to appeal to startup businesses on the ground floor and apartments on the second floor.

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