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posted: 5/9/2012 12:37 PM

New plan proposed for old Pure Oil building in Geneva

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  • The former Pure Oil service station at 502 W. State St. -- which now houses a gardening store -- could be converted to a drive-up facility for a bank, under a new plan to be presented to the Geneva Historic Preservation Commission.

       The former Pure Oil service station at 502 W. State St. -- which now houses a gardening store -- could be converted to a drive-up facility for a bank, under a new plan to be presented to the Geneva Historic Preservation Commission.
    John Starks | Staff Photographer

 
 

The former Pure Oil service station in downtown Geneva could be converted to three drive-up lanes for a bank, under a new plan filed with the city.

The Historic Preservation Commission will consider the matter at its meeting at 7 p.m. Tuesday at City Hall, 22 S. First St.

The structure would remain, the facade would stay largely the same, and the trademark blue roof would be retained, according to the application, which is available at geneva.il.us//hpc/2012-0515/HPC-2012-0515packet.pdf.

"I believe this is a win-win for everybody," said the building's owner, Joe Stanton.

In February, the preservation commission denied a permit to demolish the building to make way for a new drive-up, and in March the city council upheld that denial.

Stanton owns the building next door at 514 W. State St., and wants to rent the entire first floor to a bank.

Stanton is also requesting demolition of a house at 12 S. Fifth St., to make way for the drive-up and for bank parking.

Stanton said the new plan is possible because converting the building to a drive-up would not require as much repair and renovation work as if the building were to be fixed up to city building code for an office, store or restaurant. In February, he had estimated doing that kind of work could cost as much as $360,000. Stanton bought the site for $465,000 in 2006.

The new plan would add fewer parking spaces than the previous plan. It would also require an exception to city code about how much space to allow for cars to stack up for the drive-up lanes. The city requires room to stack five vehicles per drive-up lane, and 24 parking spaces on-site; the plan proposes stacking three per lane, and 17 parking spaces. The old plan called for stacking 11 vehicles for the drive-up lanes.

The drive-up lanes would go through the former automobile service bays. The plan calls for removing the overhead garage doors, but the city's historic preservation staff has asked if those could be kept, to retain the look of a service station.

He proposes to repair the building's brickwork and its terra-cotta roof.

The former service station office could be turned in to an information station for Geneva tourism and businesses. Stanton said he has talked to representatives from the Geneva Chamber of Commerce and the Geneva History Center about that.

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