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City To Buy George’s Sports Center Building for $225,000

Building purchase to close by year’s end with an eye toward partnering with the Arcada to provide additional amenities.

The St. Charles City Council, in its last scheduled meeting of 2012, voted unanimously Monday night to purchase the former , with an eye toward partnering with the , to provide it with additional facilities.

The cost of the $225,000 purchase will be paid for through savings the city achieved on some of its capital projects over the past year, or from capital projects that were planned but can be delayed, said St. Charles City Administrator Brian Townsend.

George’s closed in the second quarter of the year after a more than 40-year run. The business, owned by the Poczekaj family, offered a variety of sports equipment and gear. Its first floor was devoted to retail use, and the second floor held two apartments, which have been vacant for several years, Townsend said.

After they closed the business, Townsend said, the Poczekaj family approached the city to see if it would be interested in purchasing their building.

In recent years, the property had become a top target for downtown stakeholders, including the Downtown St. Charles Partnership, because of its appearance and its prominent Main Street location, he added.

“What happened earlier this year is that the owners closed the sporting goods store, they approached the city about a potential interest in purchasing the property, and we were able to negotiate what we believe is a very fair and attractive price — $225,000,” Townsend said. The building totals 6,600 square feet on the first and second floors.

The building is in need of attention, and Townsend said, and the city has identified some of those needs, which it will sort into short-, mid-, and long-term priorities.

Some of the needs include roof repairs, some structural stabilization work needed in the basement, new doors and windows, tuck-pointing the masonry, among others. “So there are further investments that will need to be made to bring the building up to the proper conditions,” he said. “And we want to make the building look nice,” particularly since it fronts on Main Street.

Townsend said the city has not yet entered into talks about partnering with the Arcada in the venture. If that does not pan out, he said the building could be fixed up and put on the market, although “I think our plan would be to hold it for a while.”

Still, the Arcada has indicated in the past an interest in its next-door neighbor as the most logical direction for an expansion.

Related:

  • George’s Building Could Be an Annex to Arcada

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Craig Bobowiec December 19, 2012 at 11:10 PM
Joss your description of the grant program is correct, that then creates the question as to how and why does the Arcada keep getting these perks? Especially when you consider that any other property owner going for the Facade Grant can only do so every 5 years. It just doesn't seem fair does it? Again I do not wish to see Ron or the Arcada go away, but there must be an explanation and limit as to when one business has received more than their fair share of "special treatment" for lack of a better phrase. I would like to see money spread around to other businesses as freely as it is for the Arcada so we finally start seeing a turn around in our commercial businesses climate which again in my opinion plays second fiddle to all the surrounding Cities to the North and South. I love St. Charles but think we fail miserably in recruiting new and exciting businesses and retaining those that we have. It still amazes me that we supposedly have no communication with the owners of the Charlestown Mall. For a fraction of the money we wasted on a consultant to tell us what we already new about the Mall's potential which does nothing for us, We could have sent City Officials to CA to make formal contact and meet with them which could have broken the ice and actually have something to show for it. At a minimum we might have an answer as to why they won't talk to the City which seems more than we know today. And what would would it have cost us? Maybe 1/5th of what a useless study did?
Craig Bobowiec December 19, 2012 at 11:21 PM
Ya know what would be a real nice and fair gesture from the Arcada back to all STC taxpayers would be to give us all a 10% discount on all tickets residents purchase until the debts and perks are paid back. Kind of like the resident discount we receive from the St Charles Park District since our taxes fund their budgets. LOL
Bill Troth December 20, 2012 at 03:10 PM
The reference to "returned the favor" exemplifies one of the many problems with government interfering with the free market. Who determines the value of the "favors" and how do we know that the "favors" did not benefit only one individual or special interest and not all of the taxpayers? If a private business is neither supported with taxpayer benefits or hinderd by government regulation or targeted taxation their ability to attract customers and operate the business profitably determine its success or failure and there is no concern about cronyism or benefit to the few.
joss December 20, 2012 at 04:14 PM
Craig, you work for the City, right? Do you know if there is a list of businesses that have applied for the Facade Grant, and, if so, is it publicly available?
Kim Malay December 20, 2012 at 04:34 PM
Joss no Craig does not work for the City. I use to and I am not sure if they have a formal list still, but I use to manage the program and nearly all of the downtown buildings that have had exterior renovations on them over the last 17 years have participated in the program, including what is now known as Beehive, the Harris Bank block across from City Hall, the entire building that houses Arcada, Starbucks etc..., and the Old Erik and Me building just to name a few bigger buildings that have participated in it and received more than the normal $10,000 allowment.

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