City accepts right-of-way for downtown Nutwood location

Published 9:00 am Wednesday, April 26, 2023

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On Tuesday, the LaGrange City Council voted to accept a property donation from Neil Liechty, owner of Nutwood Winery, that will allow the city to do streetscaping improvements around the new downtown location.

Liechty donated a portion of the right-of-way at 300 Main St. so that the city can provide streetscaping improvements to match other parts of downtown.

When the project was first proposed, Liechty asked the city to help with the brickwork to make the exterior of the proposed full-service restaurant and wine bar blend in with the downtown design.

In order to do the work outside Nutwood II, as the city is referring to the new location, it would need to own the property. The city is not allowed to do such work on private properties.

“He’s trying to give us right away, so that it would be public property for us to be able to have our crews to go in and work on it,” City Manager Meg Kelsey said.

Kelsey said all of the work will be done by city crews. She said staff members have estimated that the materials will cost around $75,000, but she believes it could cost upwards of $150,000.

A portion of the work will be done on the sidewalk and right-of-way that the city already owns, but the donation will allow the public area to extend around a portion of the new restaurant.

Most of the work will be placing brick pavers and lighting to match downtown, but some steps and a retaining wall will also be built for the project.

The work will connect to a courtyard and firepit on Liechty’s property, which he will be responsible for financing and constructing.

The council unanimously voted to accept the property.