BEVERLY -- City officials are seeking ideas for a new restaurant at Beverly Regional Airport.
Though it was nearly condemned, a request for proposals is out for developers to rehabilitate a portion of Building 45, which once housed an eatery.
The restaurant is expected to accommodate between 50 and 100 visitors, according to the request for proposals. Submissions are due by 11 a.m. on Jan. 19.
The portion of Building 45 will be leased to a developer for 20 years.
Development will take place only inside, according to the request.
Mayor Michael Cahill said that the original plan was to fully renovate the building, but the costs "came in so high."
Instead, city Department of Public Services crews are going to do some upgrades to prepare it for the police department's Criminal Investigations Unit.
When that work on the building is complete, the portion that could be a restaurant will be ready for redevelopment.
"The airport commission believes it would be a real benefit to the operation there," the mayor said. "There was a restaurant in that space for many years and there is genuine interest."
City Council approved allocating $300,000 to put some work into the building back in September. At the time, Bryant Ayles, city finance director, said the building's foundation was in decent condition and "the bones of the building were in good shape" but that the building needed renovations and asbestos remediation.
The former has restaurant has been closed since Something Different Cafe left a few years ago.
Back when the restaurant was active, Cahill said he remembers families going to breakfast there and children enjoying watching planes take off.