hopes to find tenant for historic Arsenal mansion Benicia
Posted: 09/28/2009 02:00:21 AM PDT
It may house professional offices, a company that hosts wedding receptions and other events or, less likely, a restaurant, among other possibilities. Some space may be reserved for community groups, officials say.
-- After giving the Commanding Officer's Quarters a new lease on life, the city is trying to lease it out. BENICIA
A plan to find prospective tenants for the 150-year-old Arsenal mansion was approved last week by the Benicia City Council. The plan paves the way for possible tenant selection by year's end. That coincides with possible adoption of a plan mapping out the growth of the city's historic military district southeast of the Interstate-680 and I-780 interchange.
"The assumption is they would be done at the same time," City Manager Jim Erickson said.
The city-owned Commanding Officer's Quarters is in the heart of the Arsenal. The stucco-covered brick mansion housed 35 U.S. Army commanding officers until the base closed in 1963. From 1976 to 1986, it was home to the Commandant's Residence Restaurant.
In recent years, a $3.6 million rehabilitation project -- partially funded by state grants -- has restored the structure. Future tenants, however, may be required to pay for added improvements, city officials say.
This year the city allocated $150,000 to install air conditioning and phone and data lines.
"It's time for us to get some money back," Vice Mayor Tom Campbell said. "So far it's been nothing but a drain."
The recommended five-year lease term would satisfy the council's desire to get a tenant in the building but also preserve options for the future, according to a Parks and Community Services Department staff report.Prospective tenants of the 8,883-square-foot building will be asked to submit letters of interest along with proposed rent and other terms.
City officials say they will use local brokers and a national commercial real estate database to look for tenants.
Campbell and other officials say the search may take a while.
"The business that wants to move in will have to have some sort of inclination to be in a historic setting,"
E-mail Tony Burchyns at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 553-6831.