The sale of the city-owned site at 422 N. Main St. was put on hold during Wednesday night’s meeting of the Hannibal City Council so a final review of the proposed contract can be completed by the legal reps of developers Bill Martin and Lance Smith.
Martin and Smith intend to convert the former Murphy Motors site into the Moses Bates Mercantile & Pub, which will include a micro-brewery, food sales, outdoor dining, a grocery and a furniture showroom.
Martin told the Council that the micro brewery, which will serve pub food, will be the “centerpiece” of the development. Martin believes the brewery will help bring people from across the region as well as residents of the community to the historic district.
While noting that the city still owns the site, Martin is hopeful the brewery can be operational this summer.
“It’s going to take three to four months probably to get the brew pub area into shape so we can open it up,” he said. “It needs a lot of cleanup and some kind of renovation and remodeling, and we have to get the equipment in place.”
Martin added that whether or not the site is brewing its own beer yet or not, once the building is ready it will open regardless.
Some structural upgrades will be made to the property.
“Some areas with sheet metal may change to enhance that area so there’s better visibility looking in and looking out,” said Martin, adding that the micro brewery will feature windows so the curious can see what’s going on. “We want to do some greenery around the area. It’s not going to be all asphalt. The building needs some paint and tuck pointing here and there, and we need to spruce up the windows.”
The site will feature a grocery where people can purchase “quality foods and some other convenience items.” The North Main side of the property will include an architectural furniture display room.
The second floor of the property will feature event space suitable for business meetings, weddings and other special events.
The fact the site will feature indoor and outdoor bars concerned Bob Burditt of Hannibal.
“The last thing Hannibal needs is another bar,” he said, proposing instead a “civic center.”
Mayor Roy Hark said he felt it was important to give Martin and Smith a shot at making their vision a reality, considering the amount of time they have been working on their proposal. Hark also questioned from where money for a civic center would come.
In other business:
Page 2 of 2 - • The Council was advised that the city’s final price tag for the 2012 mill and overlay program was $10,379 less than the announced contract amount. The reduction in cost reflects the amount of material that was actually used.
• Second and final reading was given a bill setting the amount of pay for a special Municipal Court judge.
• Pat Benson was reappointed to the Policemen and Firemen Retirement Board for a term to expire in December 2015.