DuPage Children's Museum gets a break from Naperville

Facility's new lease includes no rent for first five years

  • The DuPage Children's Museum in Naperville will be able to operate rent-free for the next five years thanks to a new agreement with the city of Naperville.

    The DuPage Children's Museum in Naperville will be able to operate rent-free for the next five years thanks to a new agreement with the city of Naperville. Daily Herald file photo

 
 
Updated 1/19/2011 9:45 AM

The DuPage Children's Museum in Naperville now has five rent-free years ahead of it before the city begins to recoup the $3 million it spent in October to purchase the site.

City council members Tuesday approved a 20-year lease agreement with the museum that, beginning in 2016, pays the city annual rent of at least $62,056. The rent will increase yearly based on the Consumer Price Index.

 

Councilman Grant Wehrli, who has voted against every step of purchasing the museum site because he felt the city was succumbing to pressure from a bank, was the lone "no" vote.

Councilman Dick Furstenau, however, couldn't have been happier.

"Staff did a great job chasing the details down and working with the museum to ensure we got everything exactly as we wanted it in the lease agreement," Furstenau said. "It's really great."

The lease, previously approved by the museum board, prohibits the museum from requesting or receiving any Special Events and Cultural Amenities funds and grants the city ownership of 57 parking spots that will be converted into paid commuter spaces. The museum board also is required to provide the city with audited, annual financial statements.

In October, the city purchased the museum property at 301 N. Washington St. for $3 million as part of an intergovernmental effort whereby the state contributed $1.94 million, private donors contributed roughly $700,000 and DuPage County provided $250,000.

The remainder came from a roughly $3.25 million write-down by Chase Bank, which held the museum's $9.4 million note.

City Manager Doug Krieger said the $62,056 rent figure was arrived at by taking about one-third of the annual $195,000 payments the city is making to pay off the $3 million. The city also expects to recoup about $71,000 a year from the additional parking revenue generated by the 57 new spaces.