By JAMES MITCHELL
Sunday Times Newspapers
TRENTON — While city officials continue trying to bring new businesses to the downtown area, one proposal before city council next month would give an existing enterprise room to grow.
Mayor Kyle Stack said the request by Ramsey’s Coney Island owner Jonus Rexhepi to purchase the empty lot next to his West Jefferson restaurant would also take care of a long-standing empty spot on the avenue.
“It’s been vacant for over 10 years,” Stack said. A sign staked in the ground has for years offered the land to prospective developers, with little interest.
“It’s not doing us any good by not having a business there and not collecting taxes (on the property),” Stack said. “Our goal is to revitalize downtown, and this came along.”
The city owns the empty lot just south of the restaurant, and Rexhepi’s request — first made this spring — had been presented to council earlier this month.
Rexhepi, who has operated Ramsey’s Coney Island, 2747 W. Jefferson, for more than a decade at the location, reportedly told council he needs the space to expand. The pending agreement with the city to purchase the vacant lot at 2769 W. Jefferson — for which Stack said the price remained undetermined — will include a requirement that Rexhepi build on the land within two years or the parcel reverts back to city ownership.
Stack said the proposed purchase is expected to be put to a vote at the next regular meeting of the city council on Oct. 7.
(James Mitchell can be reached at [email protected])