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Stafford EDA meets
Plans to refurbish the building that houses Amy's Cafe include asking the Stafford EDA for a $60,000 grant.
FILE/THE FREE LANCE-STAR
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BY BILL FREEHLING
Paul Eakin hopes to help rejuvenate the Falmouth Bottom area of Stafford, and he's asking the county's Economic Development Authority to help.
Eakin and his wife are under contract to purchase the Falmouth property that houses Amy's Cafe at 103 W. Cambridge St. They plan to refurbish the building, expand the kitchen area and sign a new long-term lease with restaurateur Amy Johnson.
The new lease would allow Amy's to stay open until 9 p.m. Monday through Wednesday and 10 p.m. Thursday through Saturday. Johnson's current lease prevents her from allowing in new customers after 7 p.m. That has hurt the restaurant, but it's still been able to attract a loyal following.
Eakin, a commercial real estate broker for Cushman & Wakefield | Thalhimer, on Friday asked the EDA for a $60,000 grant to help fund the roughly $150,000 in planned building improvements. He said Amy's would hire additional people with the expanded hours and generate more tax revenue for Stafford.
The EDA went into brief closed session following the request. They then returned to say they support providing funding over five years as long as Amy's meets various requirements. Staff members will draw up an agreement, and the EDA will likely reconvene in the next week or two to vote.
Eakin said the nearby building that formerly housed Chuck's Frame & Auto Body is also under contract, and he hopes to find a new tenant that isn't a body shop.
In other business Friday, the Stafford EDA:
Authorized EDA counsel Charlie Payne to create a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization for the Stafford Research and Technology Park at Quantico. The park, which leases office space at the Quantico Corporate Center in North Stafford, includes many academic and private sector partners. Having a single nonprofit organization will help in the center's development, organizers believe.
Heard a proposal from Stafford Regional Airport officials to exchange 14.5 acres the Stafford Regional Airport Authority recently acquired off U.S. 1 for 104 acres the EDA owns at the end of the runway. The airport wants to eventually extend its runway 1,000 feet. The airport authority acquired the property off U.S. 1 with Federal Aviation Administration funds in order to cut down trees that could interfere with some landings. EDA members asked for an appraisal on both properties before deciding on the land swap.
Gave $2,119 to the county's tourism staff to help market Stafford.
Bill Freehling: 540/374-5405