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Article posted: 9/3/2013 10:28 PM

Batavia sells land for Speedway; liquor license a question

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Speedway LLC can accelerate plans to build a gasoline station on Kirk Road in Batavia, since the city council agreed Tuesday to sell it some land.

Speedway will buy a six-acre site on the northeast corner of Wilson Street and Kirk Road, for $650,000. The deal is contingent on Speedway getting a design approved by the council, the results of soil tests, whether Kane County agrees to grant a right-in/right-out driveway to Kirk, and figuring out how to deal with a wetland area.

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It does not depend, however, on whether Speedway gets something else it wants: permission to sell liquor.

Batavia does not allow liquor to be sold at gasoline stations. It will be up to the aldermen to decide whether to change that law, Mayor Jeff Schielke said.

"If this one is granted (a liquor license), we will immediately have six more applications (from stations)," he said. Batavia has seven gasoline stations, but one of them doesn't have a convenience store.

The city received the land from two firms in 2010. The firms were unable to develop it as they wished, including a gas station. There were issues with access to Kirk and proximity to a railroad spur line.

The proposed station would be just west of a small industrial area, near an entrance to Fermilab. Across Kirk is the Batavia Apartments complex.

Alderman Dave Brown praised the proposal.

"I think it is a great thing to see happen on a piece of property that isn't paying anything in to the tax rolls right now," he said.

Speedway LLC has nearly eight months to close the deal, with two extensions possible to resolve wetlands issues.

The site was part of a farm, but the city estimates it hasn't been used in 60 years.

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