East Dundee to purchase River Street property, create more downtown parking

Months after shooting down a proposal for a new building on River Street, East Dundee officials decided to instead buy the property and create more public parking downtown.

Last fall, a vacant house at 110 N. River St. was demolished to make room for a mixed-use development with retail and residential units - a project proposed by River Street, LLC, a group of private investors. But plans for the four-story, 20,000-square-foot building were later rejected by planning and zoning commissioners and village trustees, who said its size didn't fit the character of downtown East Dundee, Village Administrator Bob Skurla said.

After indicating that changing the building's design wouldn't be profitable, developers offered to sell the site to the village, Skurla said. Trustees voted Monday to purchase the property for $175,000 using tax increment financing funds.

"I think it would make sense for the village to acquire it so we can control its destiny," Skurla said.

East Dundee will likely close on the site this week, he said, and the property could be leveled off and turned into a temporary gravel parking lot by mid-April.

Village President Lael Miller said other parties have expressed interest in buying the River Street property with the intention of making it a permanent parking lot, but village officials are holding out for a different offer.

"The village would like to keep that under its control," Miller said. "We feel it could be a good site for a building."

East Dundee officials plan to continue marketing the site to potential investors interested in building a development there, Skurla said. If the village were to sell the property, he added, officials would likely use the money to create more downtown public parking elsewhere.

"Any time you have a nice, high profile development and investors, you always want it to go through," Skurla said. "Just because (River Street, LLC) didn't move forward with their development doesn't mean the next person won't be able to."

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