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New Baltimore Mayor Eyes Waterfront Restaurant

City leader envisions a moderately priced restaurant and parking on the block in downtown New Baltimore where the police station and recreation center sit if a deal is reached to lease an aquatic center.

New Baltimore Mayor Larry Smith is in talks with an undisclosed Detroit restaurant eyeing a prime piece of waterfront real estate in the city's downtown.

The conversation comes on the heels of city leaders' plans to potentially lease the , essentially moving the  to the school property off Washington outside the downtown area. If that deal is reached by fall, Smith would like to see the recreation center at Washington and Main demolished as well as the adjacent police station. Police are moving next month to on Green Street.

"My vision is we would clear that whole waterfront area—the police station, the recreation center" to make way for a restaurant and parking accommodations, he said.

In terms of his vision for the restaurant, Smith said "we're a blue-collared city. I want something that's moderately priced, but creates a great city feel." He also would like outdoor seating so patrons can enjoy the scenic waterfront.

He said he's been in talks with a "big-restaurant from Detroit" about the property overlooking and Anchor Bay but declined to say which one in these early stages of talks.

Leasing Anchor Bay School District property

New Baltimore city officials are considering closing the Parks and Recreation building in the downtown and . Doing so would allow the city to utilize school grounds and gym hours in . It would also cost about the same amount of money—roughly $400,000 annually—as running the current recreation center, according to city officials.

The lease, expected to span about five years, would ideally benefit the school district, which is grappling with an  and announced it had to lay off about 30 employees in recent weeks.

"This would help the district out and it would be an enhancement for us," Smith said.

Anchor Bay Schools Human Resources Director Robert Tidd said he thinks the lease would be great for the school district and for the community. Ideally, district and city officials could reach a deal by fall, he said.

New Baltimore Parks and Recreation Assistant Director Carlos Aprea said the school gym as well baseball diamonds, track and football and soccer fields on site will be great additions for the department.

"I see nothing but potential to grow," Aprea said.

The department, which offers paid and free classes at the center and Burke Park, will continue to have select classes in the park if a deal is struck to lease the aquatic center, he said.

Debra Strobel July 16, 2011 at 02:10 PM
Keep that resturant moderately priced or it will close like all the others that occupied the building where Bad Brads is now. Be smart about it!
Beth Bagley-Stanton July 16, 2011 at 05:11 PM
Such positive news for New Baltimore! Very encouraging, indeed. Bravo Mayor Smith and the Recreation Staff!!!
kidcat24 July 17, 2011 at 02:11 PM
I hope someone isn't envisioning a chain restaurant that will put the other local ones out of business.
Christina July 18, 2011 at 04:39 AM
I think the problem with many of the restaurants that occupied the Bad Brad's spot wasn't price but BAD food lol. Would be nice to have more restaurants like Bad Brad's and Louis' Chophouse around here...independently owned with great food and great service.
Diane McIntosh July 18, 2011 at 11:17 AM
I'm all for a restaurant going in downtown! As for a big-restaurant from Detroit not so much. I would rather see a restaurant go in with a chef who uses our local growers produce to create something unique and also moderately priced. Something New Baltimore can be known for not something we had to borrow.
Rose Gottler July 19, 2011 at 12:58 PM
I think that if downtown New Baltimore is going to thrive, it needs to take some lessons from cities like Lexington, Ludington, Pentwater, etc. There needs to be shops and restaurants that appeal to people. The Moon River Soap Company, Washington Street Wine House, and Slippery Rock (and a few other places) are a great start. I am all for the Rec Center moving to make room for businesses that will make downtown NB a great place to go.
Thomas C. Pilarowski August 07, 2011 at 04:23 PM
ohhhhhhhhhh "great" more of our City lost to the CHAINS......ughhhhhhhh!!!

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