Grove City Council on June 20 awarded its second loan to a town center business.

Grove City Council on June 20 awarded its second loan to a town center business.

Council members voted 4-1 to award a $110,000, 15-year loan with 3-percent interest to Tossed-N-Grilled, 3985 Broadway.

The Town Center Loan Review Committee recommended approval of the loan. The program was established last year.

The loan technically is a refinancing of a loan Tossed-N-Grilled owners Abdallah Bahij and Natalie Dennison secured before buying the building.

Bahij and Dennison told council they didn't have time to finish the town center loan paperwork before they purchased the building because someone else was ready to make an offer on the property.

"I didn't want to go somewhere else to buy," Bahij said. "I just jumped on the opportunity. We couldn't wait."

Bahij and Dennison, who are married, put $45,000 down on the property and are using their home as collateral.

The town center loan program allows council to make an exemption to refinance existing loans.

Council president Ted Berry said he is generally opposed to using the loan program for refinancing and asked the couple why they thought they deserved an exemption.

"We're restarting a brand new business in a building that has been abandoned," Dennison said. "We're rehabbing the entire building and we're hiring new employees. It's going to bring a lot of business (to the area), we hope."

The couple said they will spend more than $100,000 to renovate the building.

"We completely replaced everything from the electrical to the HVAC to the outside windows to doors and the plumbing. Pretty much everything down to the frame," Bahij said.

Council member Greg Grinch cast the only vote against the loan.

The restaurant plans to serve lunch and dinner with a menu including salads, sandwiches, gyros, hamburgers, soups, frozen yogurt and beer. A liquor license for the business is pending. Dennison and Bahij said the restaurant will feature board games, wireless internet and a large-screen television to encourage family dining. Council approved outdoor seating for Tossed-N-Grilled earlier this year.

The Community Capital Development Corp. is being paid up to $45,000 a year to administer the $1-million loan program, which was established to promote town center economic development.

Applicants provide the same documentation and information a bank would require before granting a loan.

That includes tax returns, a business plan and a credit analysis. Program guidelines also require applicants to have a commercial banking relationship and adequate collateral.