Morro Bay offering a deal in hopes of landing a public restroom

ktanner@thetribunenews.comJuly 21, 2013 

The city of Morro Bay plans to cut or subsidize the rent for a vacant building and adjacent land on the busy corner of Morro Bay Boulevard and Main Street.

LAURA DICKINSON — ldickinson@thetribunenews.com Buy Photo

The city of Morro Bay plans to subsidize the rent for a vacant building and adjacent land on the busy corner of Morro Bay Boulevard and Main Street, if a business will move in. In exchange, the business would make the building’s existing Americans with Disabilities Act-compliant restroom available to everyone.

Public facilities in that area have been on the city’s wish list for some time, according to City Attorney Rob Schultz, who said this public-private partnership fits into Morro Bay’s plan to “revitalize downtown in a good way.” The city expects the business to provide the restroom, clean and maintain it and keep it stocked with supplies.

The location has had a checkered commercial past and has been empty for about a year, according to Schultz, who said several enterprises have opened and ultimately closed there, including a Segway rental shop and a wine bar. The businesses “couldn’t make it with $1,600-a-month rent, because the space is too small.”

To avoid having a long-term, empty eyesore on such a prominent corner, the city signed a lease for the 440-square-foot bright blue building and 2,110 square feet of vacant adjacent land set off by a rococco metal fence.

Now, the city needs someone to sublease the location in exchange for providing public access to what Schultz described as “a really nice bathroom” deemed properly accessible to those with physical restrictions. “We’re subsidizing rent in exchange for keeping the bathroom open” to the public. How much the rent reduction would be will be a topic for future negotiations, he said.

Schultz said possible business models for the compact building run the gamut from another wine bar to a candy store, frozen yogurt or kettle corn shop. In addition, the city’s open to suggestions — within limits.

The request for proposals calls for submittals from business operators with “proven experience, financial resources and professional expertise to deliver the highest quality and economically feasible project” that meets municipal codes and city plans.

A prebid meeting is set for 11 a.m. Tuesday at the site, 307 Morro Bay Blvd. Proposals for a five-year sublease must be submitted by 5 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 15. The notice is posted at www.morrobay.ca.us/bids.aspx?bidid=29.

The full request for proposal is at http://ca-morrobay.civicplus.com/document center/view/6946.

For details, contact City Manager Andrea Lueker at alueker@morro-bay.ca.us, or fax 772-7329. 

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