Jan 21, 2007

area entrepreneur has a vision for Griswold's

That burned out hulk that scars the downtown may soon rise Phoenix-Inn-like from the ashes, if Cliff Lee has his way.
Q: What happens next?

A: I need to finalize my choice of architect and engineer, and then we start working on it. I have three or four preliminary plans for the building, and then we'll move forward. I'm not sure how long the permitting process will take. But hopefully this summer we can close the top of the building and change the facade.

Q: What are your preliminary ideas for the building?

A: Condominiums, a club, wine storage, a community meeting place in back. In front, a coffee shop, a restaurant, a beauty shop. I'd like to develop the first story into three businesses and the second story for two businesses. Five businesses in front, and the back side is kind of up in the air right now. I'm a little uncomfortable with apartments, so I prefer a more controlled situation like condos with people living there.

Q: When do you think all of this would be finished?

A: Within a month I want to get a sense of how much it will cost for each option, and I'd like to open within six months to nine months after the permitting process is complete.
I'm not sure how much the downtown needs another restaurant (but they could sure stand another Batdorf and Bronson coffeeshop), but condos... smart move. Right now the downtown is a great place to visit, but there are only a few apartments, and most of the housing near the waterfront is set up for seniors. More permanent residents equals more permanent business opportunities equals thriving downtown.

If you have a suggestion for Mr. Lee, email him at clncl AT yahoo DOT com.

No comments: