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CITY SEEKS PROPOSALS FOR DOWNTOWN RESTAURANT

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By Rebecca Hattaway
Story originally published in the Claremore Daily ProgressHistoric downtown Claremore has changed a lot over the last several years, with facade renovations, streetscape improvements, and one-of-a-kind specialty stores transforming the area and offering a unique shopping destination.Now, the City of Claremore wants to take the next step in the revitalization of the district — bring more nightlife to the area.With the Claremore Senior Citizens Center relocating soon, the current facility at 116 N. Missouri Ave. will be vacated and the city is accepting applications from interested parties to develop and operate a restaurant.“With the City owning that property, it has presented a great opportunity to attract a new element to the experience in downtown Claremore,” said Brandon Irby, marketing manager, Claremore Industrial and Economic Development Authority (CIEDA). “What we’re looking for is something that’s a unique dining experience that will not duplicate any of our current offerings in town. So something that’s unique but also something that is going to be another draw for that district.”Irby believes that a restaurant will be the tipping point for the next phase of growth downtown.

“Right now, the district is basically an 8 to 5 district. Some shops stay open a few hours later on specific evenings, but other than that, it kind of wraps up and becomes a ghost town, except for the few tenants that live down there,” Irby said. “So the idea here is that it would add another element and bring more of a nightlife atmosphere downtown.”

Besides a prime location accessible from shops and professional offices, the site offers off-street parking and kitchen facilities.

Outdoor and/or rooftop dining is encouraged, as well as creative concepts for entertainment, said Jill Ferenc, director of planning and development, City of Claremore.

“We would like something to bring a dining experience that goes beyond just eating. Something that could be a destination,” she said. “With the city owning that property, we have the ability to negotiate a lease if it is the right match.”

The City’s Planning and Development Office is accepting proposals with four components: project description, business plan, owner and/or operator experience, and project financing.

Proposals are due by 4 p.m. Friday, April 10.

“We’re going to establish a review committee which will include city officials, CIEDA representatives, and possibly other agencies,” Ferenc said. “Applications will be reviewed based upon the quality of the concept and business plan, the experience of the owner or operator, their financial capability and references.”

Respondents may be asked to interview during the week of April 27, with anticipated lease negotiations completed by May 8, Ferenc said.

For detailed information on the Request for Proposals, email Ferenc at jferenc@claremorecity.com.