MARION -- The old city hall on Tower Square in Marion has a new tenant, it would appear.
Mayor Bob Butler and a member of the city council confirmed Thursday that Kevin and Daniel Tondini have been granted permission to begin renovations at the facility and prepare to launch a new eatery in the community.
City administrator Gail West said there was no written proposal submitted by the Tondinis. Butler concurred, adding that the city had worked out "an arrangement" with the brothers.
Kevin is the husband of Police Chief Dawn Tondini.
City Clerk Alice Rix said the Tondinis plan to make the restaurant Italian-themed with an emphasis on pizza.
"Their father, Joe, used to own a pizza place where Walt's is located today," she said.
Butler said the word he gets from the family is that the restaurant will become "a real showcase" once the remodeling is completed.
The mayor said it will likely be well over a year before the Tondinis are in a position to open the restaurant.
"Knowing that building, it will be a real undertaking," Butler said. "But they are confident that they can be successful there."
The mayor said it never ceases to amaze him how so many restaurants continue to flourish in the city.
"The restaurant business is tough, but we have so many that are doing very well."
The new owners of the old city hall building have not yet returned calls to the Marion Republican.
• Dustin Duncan contributed to this report.