The historic Anvil Club in East Dundee officially belongs to Tom Roeser, president and CEO of Otto Engineering in Carpentersville.
Roeser, who is partnering with East Dundee to breathe new life into its downtown, officially completed the transaction Thursday, acquiring the 57-year-old supper club and buying out its 20 shareholders.
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"This is an important investment, and Daniel Burnham taught us all, 'Make no small plans,'" Roeser said. "We are going to rebirth an important institution in East Dundee."
An extensive renovation is already under way at the club.
By the time it's finished, the club will have new windows, oak floors, a new veranda, a new menu, a new bar, new uniforms for the staff and much more.
The club is open during the renovation project and about 1,700 families are members, said Roeser, who also is a member.
"Our goal is to make this the go-to place in the area for atmosphere and friendship while dining," Roeser said, declining to disclose the purchase price or what it cost to buy out the shareholders.
"We are just doing everything you could possibly want to make sure people felt that they were getting their money's worth when they came. Good service, quality food and an enjoyable, clean atmosphere."
Roeser intends to spend $1.1 million on the building improvements alone.
Despite opposition from the Fox Valley Libertarian Party, which takes issue with a private club potentially receiving a "corporate bailout" for the renovations through a tax increment finance district, Roeser will seek financial assistance from the village for the project, to the tune of $375,000.
Julie Fox, president of the Fox Valley Libertarian Party, could not be reached for comment Friday.
In a TIF district, property tax assessments are frozen for 23 years. The extra tax revenue generated by the improved property is used for infrastructure and other improvements within the designated district. It's used as a tool to spur development and attract other business.
The East Dundee village board has already voted to give the club money from a TIF district for interior renovations.
The board did not set a dollar amount at the time because it did not have details on all of the work that had to be done.
Now that it knows, the village is scheduled to take a final vote Dec. 2 on granting TIF district financing to Roeser, Village President Lael Miller said.
"Without Tom's assistance and help, we would have an empty building for many, many years, so I don't think it's unreasonable for him to ask the village for help on this," Miller said, adding that Roeser is a "white knight."