Hearing on landmark status to save 119-year-old Elgin building postponed

  • A public hearing about giving landmark status to a 119-year-old building at 850 N. Grove Ave. in Elgin was postponed to June 2 to give more time to developers interesting in repurposing the building.

      A public hearing about giving landmark status to a 119-year-old building at 850 N. Grove Ave. in Elgin was postponed to June 2 to give more time to developers interesting in repurposing the building. Brian Hill | Staff Photographer

 
 
Updated 3/2/2020 6:40 PM

A public hearing about giving landmark status to a 119-year-old Elgin building was postponed three months to give more time to developers interested in repurposing the building.

The city's heritage commission was scheduled to hold a hearing Tuesday about the building at 850 N. Grove Ave., but the city and its owner, the Christian publishing company David C Cook, agreed to delay the hearing until June 2, city spokeswoman Molly Gillespie said.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

The city council nominated the building for landmark status in a 6-3 vote in January over the objections of the owner, which wants to demolish it.

However, council members said they hope that the owner and the local neighborhood group, the Northeast Neighborhood Association, would work together to find a suitable developer for the site. An estimate said it would take $4 million to bring the building up to par, and more to develop it as housing.

Gillespie declined to say which developers currently are interested in the building.

NENA President K. Eric Larson didn't immediately return a request for comment.

After a recommendation from the heritage commission, a "supermajority" vote by the council will be needed to finalize landmark status. That would protect the building from demolition, although the owner could still try to get that done by claiming economic hardship or public safety concerns.

If the building is designated a landmark, any work done to the exterior will need a "certificate of appropriateness" from the city.

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