BECKLEY, WV (WOAY) – Located in the heart of downtown Beckley on Neville Street is Zen’s Café. The business was opened in 2016 and remained a staple of the area for some time, before permanently closing not long ago.
Now, the city of Beckley wants to purchase the building to pursue downtown development.
“We could make that a lynchpin of downtown development,” said recorder-treasurer Billie Trump. “We could demonstrate that the city is behind revitalizing that area.”
The plan is to purchase the property and the adjacent parking lot and lease it out to clients. They want to use the entire building: The upper floor for meeting space, and the street level for food service.
“Every college town has that place where all the students go to hangout. The downstairs is perfect for young people to come get a coffee, sit around, work on their laptops, things like that.”
WVU Tech has expressed a great need for additional parking in the area, and the city insists in gaining the adjacent parking lot with the purchase of the property.
They say that once things get going, their client can get into business in just under two months.
“The vendor we were talking to says they could be up and running in 30-45 days. We still have to acquire the building, we have to talk with council, council has to then approve any transaction at that level.”
The city announced they are currently planning to buy the property and the gravel lot for roughly $1 million total.