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Yorkville Considers Selling Old Post Office

The city will issue a "request for proposals;" a former alderman wants to build a brewery and retail space there.

Yorkville Mayor Gary Golinski broke a tie vote Tuesday in favor of seeking proposals for selling the old post office building downtown.

The vote came after former alderman Jason Leslie walked some leaders, privately, through his plans for the building at 201 Hydraulic St. He also discussed his plans casually during the public comment portion of Tuesday's City Council meeting.

Leslie , retail space, and terraced landscaping in the back leading to a riverside pathway. Leslie thinks the space could be an extension of the Three Angels Brewing he started with area attorney Boyd Ingemunson, as well as a complement to other downtown developments.

Some aldermen paused, though, in light of the city's long-term discussions about whether to purchase the REC Center or discontinuing using the facility. They had initially decided against selling the building at a Committee of the Whole meeting earlier this month, but they were unaware of the specific proposal or Leslie's involvement then.

Ward 1 Alderman Carlo Colosimo said he was impressed with Leslie's presentation.

“From what little I heard in the two-hour meeting, I was impressed," Colosimo said. "It’s geared toward what I see as the development in the riverfront in the city.”

But Ward 2 Alderman Larrry Kot said the city should sell real estate when the economy is more stable - in line with the old adage "buy low, sell high."

“This is probably the worst possible time to be selling anything," Kot said. "I’d like to wait six months and put it out there again.”

But Ward 3 Alderman Chris Funkhouser figured hearing some ideas for the space couldn't hurt.

“We need to look at all options, and in this case I would not be doing my civic duty if I did not hear the proposals," Kot aid.

When the aldermen were evenly split on the issue, Golinski said the city's downtown is what first drew him to Yorkville.

Voting against accepting proposals for the building were Ward 2 Alderman Jackie Milschewski, Ward 1 Alderman George Gilson Jr., Ward 4 Alderman Rose Spears and Kot.

Mark A Johnson June 27, 2012 at 12:28 PM
Contrary to what some believed I stated at last night's City Council's meeting, I wish only the best to Jason and Rick in downtown Yorkville. Aldermen questioning whether to sell the property and tying it to the Rec Center vote should reconsider. This building isn't critical space for the city but could be a move in the right direction for our city's downtown. This building is of minimal use by the city for anything but storage and a few offices for staff. If Mr Leslie gives a responsible bid on this property then I am on board to a sale. If a sale occurs I would only ask that this Council allocate the proceeds to Yorkville's street and sanitary infrastructure.
Jason Leslie June 27, 2012 at 02:11 PM
Mark you and I agree on a lot more than we disagree on. Let's get together and focus on our shared concerns. The tenacity and service you embody is an incredible asset when used for the public good. My emai is jasonleslie@me.com. I look forward to working collaboratively.
Robert J. Gryder June 27, 2012 at 02:49 PM
Beer? Native to Yorkville? That's really not the most challenging sale to me, anyway. I'm excited to see the detailed proposal. In the meantime, where can I whet my appetite with some of this craft-brew? If I walk in to K-Pub or OJs and say "Three Angels, please?" would they serve me a cool mug's worth without reservation?
Chris Fox June 27, 2012 at 06:02 PM
Thank god Gary has some sense. I really dont think the city needs another "old jail" situation. The way things were going I was dreading the impending post office museum scenerio.
Judith Burks June 28, 2012 at 08:53 PM
Very interested Jason to hear the proposal you will be presenting to the city.

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