On Tuesday, the Oakley City Council agreed 5-0 to moved forward with Buon Appetito to lease the space currently occupied by Carpaccio’s after it closes on February 15, 2017.
The move comes after the January 10 meeting where the City terminated the lease with Carpaccio’s who owe $1.9 million in debt to the city. During that meeting, the city agreed to a deed in Lieu of foreclosure with the owners of Carpaccio’s Restaurant.
Previously, the council were presented with three options, including Bon Appetito. The council, who stated their preference was for Bon Appetito, but wanted to be fair to all possibilities extended the search for 2-weeks.
Dwayne Dalman, Oakley’s economic development manager, stated they received more interest, but no proposals.
“Ultimately we had three proposals that we received, the council indicated preference for Bon Appitto, the council gave direction to give additional outreach, between the last meeting and this meeting, staff has performed that,” explained Dalmon. “We put this restaurant out on our website as well as our social media channels, outreach through Brokers Firms. From that we received more interest for the site, but did not receive any official letters of interest or new proposals.”
Dalman highlighted that the owner, Martin Oviedo, has extensive restaurant experience, starting his career at El Fornio, and then opening an Italian restaurant himself called Mangia Bene in Martinez. He opened the first Buon Appetito restaurant in Hayward in 1999 and a second location in 2001 in Martinez. He also lives in East County.
According to Dalman, the restaurant will feature a similar menu as existing Buon Appetito restaurants which feature homemade pastas and fresh ingredients. They would be open for lunch and dinner from 11:00 am through 10:00 pm.
“We feel this gives us the best seamless transition,” said Dalman. “One Italian restraint to another.”
The lease is a 5-year term with rent payments that graduate from the beginning through 5th year. It would start at $1.20 downstairs/.675 upstairs ($4,500 per mo). By year 5, it would be $2 downstairs/$1.30 upstairs ($8,000 per mo)
Dalman also noted that between March 1 and April 1, there may be a period of free rent to allow time to get the building ready to lease.
Councilman Doug Hardcastle asked about rent free.
Dalman stated it would be 30-days or less while improvements to the building are made.
“If they are chosen tonight, they have met with owner of Carpaccios and down a walk through. If approved, they would do their final walk through and negotiations and figure out what they need to do in improvements,” explained Dalman. “The thought was a short turn around, the lease proposed had a starting period of April 1, but it may request in 30-days or 60-days to allow them to spend their money to get started to hit the ground running.”
Dalman says free rent for a month is a possibility, but nothing they started out asking.
Councilwoman Claire Alaura says she looks forward to seeing them open in Oakley.
“I wanted to say thank you to staff for taking additional time to research inquires that came in to research and follow up. I always thought the first three options were very solid, but I am glad you opened it up for more time. I personally was able to visit the Buon Appetito in Hayward unannounced, the food was great and was a good experience. The price point was affordable and fair, I look forward to them coming.”
Councilman Randy Pope stated the financials are what concerned him and he was not in favor of free rent.
“For me, it was the financials and lease agreements. Some of the other applicants were asking for free stuff and that is what turned me off to them” said Pope. “Unless it’s something we go in as owner and that is broken and we need time to fix it, then I am not in favor of the that. If it’s our fault, by all means we are not going to charge them for that.”
Still, Pope says even with free rent, it will be a great fit for the city and he looked for it opening.
Montgomery addressed both Hardcastle and Popes concerns on free rent saying they are not looking at an extensive amount of time, maybe 15-20-30 days to fix any issues (if there were any). He said it was fair to Buon Appetito.
“I wouldn’t even call it free rent; it would provide time for us to make sure the building is in good shape to lease,” said Montgomery.
The council agreed to move forward with Bon Appetito with the caveat that if “free rent” is longer than 30-days, it would come back to council for approval.