Bridgewater Town Council on Tuesday voted unanimously to authorize officials to sign a contract allowing the town to purchase the back end of the Macado’s property on Main Street to create a parking lot if the chain follows through and renovates the old Berlin Building property and builds a restaurant in the town.
Described as a “proverbial win-win” in Bridgewater Town Manager Jay Litten’s staff report to Town Council, town staff developed a concept in December to purchase the rear of the building at 101 S. Main St. for $125,000 and create a parking lot for the town, behind the building on West College Street.
“By purchasing something we need anyway, the Town could substantially reduce Macado’s net cost,” Litten wrote in the report.
The proposed parking lot would extend to the rear of the Old Town Hall property, which the town already owns, near West College and South Grove streets, according to the staff report. As required by town code, five spaces would be dedicated to residents of apartments on the second floor of the 101 S. Main St. building, and the remaining 16 spaces would be available to the public, with Macado’s retaining a parking easement over the land it sold as a guarantee against a future council repurposing the land.
The report estimated construction costs at $275,000. The purchase and improvement of the property would also serve as a stormwater control mechanism, so all of the town’s expenses could be covered by American Rescue Plan Act funds, according to the report.
The proposed lot could be used for parking for not only Macado’s, but also Francesco’s and the Sipe Center.
Macado’s has already approved the concept, and the company’s legal counsel is reviewing the contract, Litten wrote in the report.
In September, town officials granted the Roanoke-based chain restaurant a special-use permit so it could get a building use permit during a September meeting. If Macado’s actually files the building permit, the town of Bridgewater will agree within 90 days to buy the back part of the future Macado’s property and develop it into parking.
However, nothing is final yet, and no deal has been signed.
According to the contract, shared with the Daily News-Record, Macado’s and Dowater, a Virginia limited liability company, will agree to “promptly, diligently, and continuously pursue construction of the renovations so that a building permit is issued no later than March 31, 2023, and a Certificate of Occupancy is issued no later than March 28, 2025.”
Bridgewater will agree to construct the public parking lot behind the building, and behind the neighboring building owned by the town at 109 S. Main St. The town will commence construction on the parking lot within 120 days of closing on the land, according to the contract.