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updated: 10/31/2013 6:15 PM

Not much developer interest in downtown building

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  • Huntley village officials are seeking a potential developer to rehab the historic Huntley mill.

      Huntley village officials are seeking a potential developer to rehab the historic Huntley mill.
    Brian Hill | Staff Photographer


Friday is the deadline for potential developers to submit proposals for possibly rehabbing the historical downtown Huntley mill.

The village last year bought the former mill, a 2-story building at 11801 Main St. in the heart of town, for $115,000 as part of an ongoing effort to give its downtown a face-lift.

The mill building sits just east of the municipal parking lot, which wraps around the property to the south. On the east side a drive separates the lot from Parkside Pub.

An outside firm hired by the village determined significant work needs to be done to bring the building up to code.

Earlier this summer, the village board authorized a request for proposals from developers but only one had responded by the original Sept. 30 deadline. The board then extended the deadline to see whether any other developers come forward by 5 p.m. Nov. 1.

"We've had a couple of developers express interest," said Lisa Armour, assistant village manager.

Village officials hope to either rehab the structure or reuse the site. Demolishing the building also is a possibility.

"Right now, any option is still out there," Armour said. "We don't know what these developers may want to do with the site. The process thus far is to see what they propose, and then to make evaluations and see if it would be something that fits into the downtown."

The historic Sawyer-Kelley mill as it is known -- built in 1892 and originally owned by local businessmen W.G. Sawyer and John Kelley who helped develop Huntley -- served more as a grain storage than for milling operations in the early years. The building housed the Huntley post office until 1957.

Over time, the building housed offices on the main floor and basement, with a couple of apartments on the second floor. Previous tenants include a law office, real estate business, a barber shop and The Huntley Farmside newspaper. The last tenants and businesses operating there -- a cash-for-gold business and a cleaning service -- left soon after the village purchased the building.

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