By summer, the former Doederlein Lumber Co. could be just a memory.
East Dundee officials have acquired the aging yellow warehouse along the Kane County bike path and plan to demolish it after Feb. 20. Months later, the main building along Railroad Street may be reduced to rubble and replaced with upscale apartments.
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"Before we take down the warehouse, we have to get the asbestos out of the building," said Robert Skurla, East Dundee village administrator. "Then, we will tear down the (three-story) warehouse."
When it is gone, village trustees will have grass seed put on the land and expand the park where the Dundee Township Tourism Center sits. The space will give vendors more room when the Old Farmers Market opens in May.
The warehouse has been idle for nearly a decade. In its heyday, it held grain and lumber carried to it by freight trains that stopped in East Dundee until the 1960s. Until the end of 2012, the warehouse stored long-forgotten items left by local residents who had no room in their homes.
Many of those items have been cleared out, Skurla said.
DeLoris Doederlein, widow of the Fred Doederlein, donated the 1860-era warehouse, to the village late last year. As for the lumber company's office and surrounding property, she plans to sell them and eventually developer, New Port Builders, may construct the 46 apartments in three story buildings, Skurla said.
The apartments will have two and three bedrooms.
Considering the lumber company property encompasses an entire block of the village's old business district, the redevelopment project will be large and significant to East Dundee, Skurla said.
"Ground could be broken by the end of the first quarter of this year," the village administrator added. "This project would lead to the redevelopment of Meier and Railroad streets."
If it does, Meier Street will be widened, a sewer plant lift station near the property will be relocated and parking may be added to the North River Street business district.
When the dust settles, North River Street will have a new face and new residents to its landscape.