Owners of The Haight in Elgin planning new venue in Pingree Grove
The owners of The Haight weddings and events venue in Elgin are buying a historic former church in Pingree Grove to turn it into the same kind of setting.
The former St. Peter's Lutheran Church at 14N205 Reinking Road was built in 1910 and is listed on the Kane County Register of Historic Places. It was donated to the village in 2017 after the congregation closed the church because of low attendance.
A majority of village board members voted Monday to sell the property for $150,000 to the owners of The Haight, who are siblings Kari Goodmay, Doree Motl and John Haight.
"It will be just like The Haight," Goodmay said. "We'll have wedding, events, concerts, pop-up dinners, fundraisers ... really whatever the community needs. It's a much smaller community, so we are not entirely sure what that will look like.
The village will get $15,000 -- payable when the contract is finalized, which is expected within the next 30 days -- and will forgive the rest of the amount at $27,000 per year as long as the new owners continue to operate the building. If the buyers end operations before five years, they will owe the village for the years left in the contract. Otherwise, ownership will be transferred to them in five years.
Goodmay said she and her siblings have been looking to open a second venue for about a year and looked at possibilities in Algonquin and Elburn. They will invest about $250,000 to renovate the Pingree Grove building and make it conform with commercial code, including adding accessible restrooms, she said.
Village Manager Dean Frieders said the new venue will be a great addition expected to bring tax revenue, local employment and a boost to other local businesses. The new owners will maintain the historic exterior, including the stained-glass windows.
"We are extremely pleased to work with an organization that has a proven record in occupying the historical structures," he said. The Haight is in a building dating back to 1890.
Goodmay said she and her siblings hope to open the new Pingree Grove venue in spring 2021 after an estimated six- to eight-month renovation. However, it all depends on when they can reopen The Haight and restart their cash flow, she said. The venue has been closed since the stay-at-home order in March and has rescheduled about 60 weddings so far, she said.
"It brought us to a screeching halt not to be able to hosts events," she said, adding the emotional toll on customers has been great. "As soon as the governor gives an indication on when we can start, then we can start construction in Pingree Grove."
Pingree Grove had sought interest in repurposing the church building over the years, but either concrete plans didn't materialize or the village board couldn't reach consensus.