Hoping to fill a gap in the area's wedding industry, Rob Gorman believes he's found a winning formula for his new event venue in Carpentersville: A historic brick building; a view of the Fox River; and a business model that gives couples the freedom to add their personal touch.
With the tagline "your life, your style," The Brix on the Fox at 260 Washington St. will allow patrons to customize the space to fit their preferences and budgets, said Gorman, a former East Dundee trustee. The banquet hall -- run by Gorman and his wife, Tone -- will be available starting in late September for weddings, corporate events and other gatherings.
"It's set up for people to be able to make their day unique for themselves," he said. "Every wedding there will be different."
With his children and several family friends at the "wedding age," Gorman said he has become familiar with the high costs associated with wedding packages offered at most traditional banquet halls.
At Brix on the Fox, the 9,600-square-foot event space can be rented for an all-in-one rate that includes a catering area, tables and chairs, a photo booth, a private bridal suite, a sound system and an event liaison. Patrons then have the flexibility to bring in their own caterers, decorations and other vendors, Gorman said, noting Brix also will have a list of recommended vendors.
"Couples are looking for something unique that makes a statement about who they are," he said. "So what we want to do is create something that gives people that personal choice and freedom to manage their budget."
The banquet hall is being built out to accommodate 300 or more people, depending on how the space is used, Gorman said. Pricing varies based on the size of the event and the day of the week.
The redevelopment of the riverfront building, a former Milk Specialties Co. factory, has been ongoing for years. The structure now contains an automotive technology company and office space.
Property owner Tom Roeser said adding a banquet hall to the mix will help with Carpentersville's rebranding initiative.
"When somebody brings 200 wedding guests to downtown Carpentersville from a far away town, they're going to go, 'Wow, how beautiful is this?' ... Then they'll spread the word to their own homes," he said. "A very important part of rebranding is to get the word out."
Gorman said he is seeking tax incentives from the village to help offset the "significant investment" going into renovating the banquet hall. The Brix on the Fox is within a tax increment financing district, in which property tax revenue generated above a certain level can go back into redevelopment.
The village board this week unanimously approved an inducement resolution with Brix on the Fox. Though not yet promising any financial contributions, the measure ensures redevelopment costs would be eligible for future TIF reimbursement if an incentive agreement is finalized, interim Village Manager Marc Huber said.