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posted: 10/1/2017 12:01 AM

Give Grove Avenue building a chance

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Recent media reports regarding the planned development of 51 S. Grove Ave. in downtown Elgin as the next Localvore location have noted the building's ownership by LV Management.

I'd like to dispel any rumors or innuendo regarding the property and our plans for the building -- part of the PKE Enterprises and Shared Dream Kitchen family.

I appreciate the mayor's concern that Dream Kitchen is making a mistake leasing this property. I have looked at this from many different perspectives, and Dream Kitchen can make this a success. Our partners and shareholders have full confidence in this deal, and they want to go forward with it. We think that downtown Elgin is an excellent home for new businesses and entrepreneurs.

We do not believe the Elgin property is included in the federal allegations against Victor Lipukhin. As stated by Elgin City Attorney Bill Cogley, the charges against Lipukhin have no bearing on our ability to lease the space or obtain a liquor license. There is no evidence those charges would prevent a purchase of the building in the future, and we are committed to purchasing it within the next seven years. Leaving the 22,000-square foot, three-story location empty while Lipukhin's issues are litigated -- or while he remains in Russia -- does not help Elgin, nor PKE Enterprises, as the company grows in this city.

My partners and I have already begun work on the building -- tearing out much of the performance stage which has been problematic for the city's residents -- as well as making other repairs and renovations to prepare the former JCPenney's location for its new life as a food service business incubator.

I invite Mayor Kaptain and the city council to visit the building and hear our plans for it before making statements regarding our future.

Kevin Echevarria

Elgin

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