Glen Ellyn Chamber of Commerce officials hope a relocation of their offices to the village's northern gateway will increase their visibility to businesses and visitors to town.
The chamber's offices at 800 Roosevelt Road are tucked away in a strip mall, but this fall, they will move to 810 N. Main St. inside an old storefront at Stacy's Corners, south of the intersection of Main Street and St. Charles and Geneva roads.
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"There's thousands of people who come in during the course of a year who try to find us. If they're not really familiar with Glen Ellyn, it's sometimes difficult to find where we are," said Georgia Koch, the chamber's co-executive director. "Being on Main Street will make us more visible to people. It'll be easier for us and easy for visitors."
Two tenants of the Main Street storefront -- a nail salon and chiropractor -- have moved out, and the spaces will be reconfigured this summer into chamber offices and a visitors center, Koch said.
Chamber officials first expressed interest in relocating to the village-owned building in July 2011 -- just as village leaders were looking for prospective tenants to fill the space. Months before, the village board approved demolition of a century-old house that was attached in back to the 810 N. Main storefronts. The house was deemed too expensive to renovate.
The village took over ownership of the property from the Glen Ellyn Historical Society in 2010 in exchange for relieving some of the organization's debt.
Village officials say there are limited village funds to renovate the storefronts, so they are looking to the chamber to pay for most of the work. The village will reimburse the chamber up to $75,000 to make the building operational, but the chamber will be responsible for additional facade and interior improvements expected to cost up to $100,000, according to terms of a five-year agreement approved by the village board this week and the chamber board last month.
The contract stipulates that the chamber must spend at least $16,105 a year on property upgrades.
The chamber will be responsible for management of the building, and may charge rent to other tenants in office spaces on the second floor, to be used for paying for building renovations, officials said. The chamber itself will not have to pay rent to the village.
Village officials say the agreement is beneficial to both parties because the chamber doesn't have to pay rent, while the village-owned building will be maintained and improved by an outside party.
The chamber is expected to move in by the fall.