MERIDEN — The City Council voted to sell a vacant parcel on East Main Street to local restaurant Tacos Mi Nacho, which hopes to expand into a second location.
The business has operated out of 550 Broad St. for about 11 years and has outgrown the space.
“We are busy almost all the time so we have to see more people, and that’s why we’re looking for something bigger — to accommodate more people,” said business owner Luis Lemus. “The location I think is going to be good for us.”
Lemus and wife Claudia Sanchez Perez agreed to purchase the vacant 11,000-square-foot lot at 69 E. Main St. for $15,000. The empty parcel is valued at $128,100, according to the city’s GISwesbite.
The City Council voted Tuesday to approve the sale with several conditions, including the city conducting environmental clean up on the property. Economic Development Director Juliet Burdelski said a consultant is still assessing the cost of clean up, which would be paid for using a federal Environmental Protection Agency grant.
“We still have a little bit of work to do on the environmental (side) to get the site cleared for sale but if everything goes as we think it will that’s a very exciting opportunity for Tacos Mi Nacho to come more into the center of downtown so we’re really excited about that,” Burdelski said.
The agreement to sell the property also includes reverter clause that allows the town to take the property back if the buyer fails to begin development the property within 18 months.
“The 18-month development time we spoke of is consistent to what we have (used) in the past for businesses so there is some movement on that property,” City Council Majority Leader David Lowell said at the council meeting.
The sale was previously approved by the Planning Commission and the City Council’s Economic Development, Housing, and Zoning Committee.
Lemus said he plans to construct a two-story building on the site with a dine-in restaurant. He plans to operate both locations and keep the menu fairly consistent.
Lemus did not want to comment on when construction could begin because the sale is yet to officially close.
“We are just excited and nervous at the same time,” he said. “We just hope for the best. We are going to do our best to make it work.”