The city of St. James passed resolution to sell real estate owned by the city to Los Potros Mexican Restaurant and Cantina Tuesday night at their bi-monthly meeting. The owners Gustavo and Maria Hidalgo wished to obtain the property in order to grow their business.
"We would like to turn the property into a patio for our restaurant and develop the upstairs as a residential area," said Los Potros owner Maria Hidalgo.
The council passed the resolution five to zero unanimously. The sale must be advertised for 30 days before closing and if there are no objections, the property will be theirs.
If everything goes through as planned, the Hidalgos plan to begin the project as early as this spring.
The Council also passed resolution authorizing the Demolition Loan Program that was brought to their attention last month by Economic and Community Development Director Molly Westman. This resolution would be for the demolition of the old hospital and would be interest free for the first two years.
"If we are awarded the funds and we are successful--meaning we create this area into a taxable re-development--fifty percent of loan money received will be forgiven," said Westman. "If we do not redevelop this area, we'd be looking at a tax levy."
Mayor Gary Sturm was supportive of this program saying, "This area is an eye-sore and should have been taken care of three or four years ago. It's beginning to be more of a hazard now."
To see what other resolutions were passed, please see Thursday's print edition of the St. James Plaindealer.