SIDNEY – Work began Tuesday at the former Fifth Third Bank building in downtown Sidney, which is being redeveloped as an Italian restaurant.
“It’s been about nine months since the bank vacated,” Jim Hill, the executive director of Sidney-Shelby Economic Partnership, said. “So in the redevelopment world, that’s actually pretty quick to be able to be at the stage of redevelopment within about nine months.”
The new restaurant will occupy the first floor of the property at 101 S. Ohio Ave. in downtown Sidney, including the area that previously was the bank’s drive-thru. The Sidney-Shelby County Chamber of Commerce, Sidney-Shelby Economic Partnership and Workforce Partnership of Shelby County will remain on the second floor of the building.
“It’s very exciting,” Hill said. “It’s very exciting to see a redevelopment of the building here, and I think it’s just kind of indicative of some of the good things that are happening right now here in downtown Sidney but even throughout the county.”
Hill and Sidney Alive Executive Director Amy Breinich declined to name the owner of the new business, but a post to the Murphy’s Craftbar + Kitchen Facebook page stated the Catanzarite family is developing the Italian restaurant, though it’s not clear if they are the sole owners.
“Our company is growing and we are thankful for this opportunity,” the Sept. 11 Facebook post stated. “The city of Sidney has been extremely helpful and great to work with, and we feel this is the next step in our ongoing partnership.”
Frank, Jill and Rocco Catanzarite own Murphy’s Craftbar + Kitchen, a restaurant and bar that opened in April in downtown Sidney. They also own a convenience store in Sidney, Karoc Marathon.
On Wednesday, the Murphy’s Craftbar + Kitchen Facebook page shared a post inviting community members to follow Facebook and Instagram pages for Tavolo – Modern Italian.
“It’s exactly what we want, everything that we want,” Breinich said of the redevelopment. “We want more of this, more of the investors, more of the people willing to take a chance on downtown and start a business and grow businesses.”
During public meetings this month, it was announced that Sidney Hometown Investments LTD worked with Sidney City Council and the Sidney City Schools Board of Education to secure tax abatement agreements for the restaurant development.
During the Sept. 9 council meeting, it was reported the total new project investment is estimated at $1,735,000 for the acquisition of the property, the addition and new construction, improvements to the building and equipment and furnishings/fixtures. The Housing Council recommended a 15-year, 100 percent abatement based on the amount of the investment and benefit to Sidney’s downtown and community.
The Sidney Board of Education then approved a tax sharing agreement with the city on Sept. 16 for the Community Reinvestment Area property tax abatement.
“Having another significant restaurant here will provide another anchor for the downtown,” Hill said. “You know, you’re right here close to the theater, close to The Bridge and Murphy’s so you kind of have more eating options right here downtown close by … The Spot over on the other corner there. So I guess you kind of look at it as having more anchors for people to eat, be entertained and do things in the downtown district.”
Mick Given, managing partner of Sidney Hometown Investments, said during the Sept. 9 council meeting that he hopes the restaurant will be open for business by June 2020.
Downtown businesses are excited to see another restaurant preparing to open, Breinich said, and thinks it’s great for the community.
“We’re just excited they’re a little bit ahead of schedule and started earlier,” she said, adding previous indications were that construction would start Oct. 1. “We’re hoping that’s the continuation throughout the end of this process, is that they stay on schedule or ahead of schedule and we’ll get it quicker and faster.”
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