Depot tenants could include coffee shop, bakery-bistro

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By Sean Kennedy

Owners of Candis’ Coffee Table in Brighton and Mon Cheri Bakery & Bistro in Lafayette are two who are interested in occupying space at the historic Brighton Depot building, 269 E. Bridge St.

They came to tour the property Friday, July 13, along with representatives from the Greater Brighton Chamber of Commerce, and the Creative U paint and sip shop.. 

The meeting was mandatory for any business or group interested in moving into the building, under the terms of the city’s request for proposals.

Representatives from Candis’ and the Greater Brighton Chamber of Commerce previously told the Blade that they’re interested in being building tenants. Brighton city council members bought the building for $610,000 in May.

“I’m really interested in this property,” said Cheri Spickard, owner of Mon Cheri Bakery. “This is a fantastic location with great potential. I wanted to lease it before, actually, but it never worked out, so we opened in Lafayette instead. I’d love to establish a satellite operation out here in the Depot.” 

City officials said they plan to keep the list of official bids confidential, citing private proprietary information in the bids.

But several of the businesses could be future Depot tenants. According to city officials, three or four businesses might be the ideal number to share the space. Approved businesses would need to agree on a specific allocation of space before entering into a multi-year lease deal, according to city documents. 

City officials plan to enter into a five-year lease with the selected business or businesses, according to terms of a request for proposal. No lease amount or other financial details have been set yet, according to Ryan Johnson, executive director of the Brighton Urban Renewal Authority, a government group that gets most of its funding from property tax revenues in certain areas, including the downtown area that includes the Depot.

City officials plan to pay for water and sewer in the building, according to the request for proposal. The tenants would pay for things like power, phone and internet service. 

While the Depot previously has only been occupied by one business at a time, city officals envision the space being shared by three or more tenants. The property boasts a ground floor with multiple large rooms and a sizable basement. Furthermore, Johnson noted that most of the interior walls can be removed or moved to meet the needs of tenants. 

City officials plan to get historic landmark designation for the site and also fix up the interior and the exterior of the building to better connect it with the Armory Performing Arts Center directly north at 300 Strong St., and the Anythink Library, directly east of the Depot at 327 E. Bridge St.

Treads Bicycle Outfitters was the building’s most recent previous tenant.