CLEARFIELD -- Two young entrepreneurs got a little help during a work session of the city council and planning commission meeting July 30, after city staff was given the go-ahead to negotiate a lease for the vacant, city-owned Taco Time building to house their coffeehouse/Internet cafe.
The two had requested a month-to-month lease on the property after looking at various sites in neighboring cities, including Layton and Roy.
Matt Jones and Joe O'Keefe said the other sites they had considered wanted a long-term lease on the property. However, the two said they are in negotiations to buy another property in Clearfield, but wanted to get their business up and running while negotiating for the long-vacant Tri Mart property at 329 N. Main St.
The property, which has been vacant for about 10 years, has a quit claim filed by BP Petroleum, releasing it from liability so long as there is no excavation on the site. State agencies want the existing car wash removed and areas of the pavement, torn up when underground tanks were removed and filled in, thus disturbing the soil. The two young men, with family members in construction, feel they can persuade BP to release its quit claim, allowing them to move ahead with their plans for their coffeehouse/Internet cafe.
The two said leasing the Taco Time property will give them time to complete their negotiations and complete the planned remodel of the property on the second building, located just down the street.
O'Keefe said he would like to keep the existing car wash and remodel it into a facility where he could roast coffee, but said if approval from the state hinges on removal of the car wash, he will find another way to roast his coffee.
The two said they have ties to the Clearfield area, with O'Keefe noting his first office was in the Lakeside Plaza. O'Keefe is also opening a car lot in Clearfield and said, "this is where we're from."
The duo said the month-to-month lease will allow them to establish their business in the community and then move to their new location without losing the client base.
Council and planners agreed, and their staff was directed to meet with the pair to negotiate a lease and bring it back for approval.