With new facility planned, what's next for Buffalo Grove's public works site?

Now that Buffalo Grove trustees are moving ahead with plans to transform a vacant warehouse into a new public works center, one big question remains: What's next for the current public works site?

Located on the village campus that once was slated to become a new "downtown," the 53,000-square-foot building on 4.5 acres could be replaced with a variety of uses, though a decision is likely a long time away, officials say.

On Tuesday, the village board approved the purchase of a warehouse at 1650 Leider Lane for $13.15 million, out of already budgeted funds.

Village officials have said there are no specific plans for the existing Public Service Center, but they would follow the guidance of the Lake-Cook Corridor Market Study and Plan. That plan calls for commercial uses on the site at 51 Raupp Blvd., possibly along with multifamily residences.

"It's an exciting moment," Deputy Village Manager Christopher Stilling said Tuesday, referencing the site's potential to join other redevelopment projects along Lake-Cook Road.

The replacement of the current facility has been brewing since 2017, when the village completed a study that determined public works operations needed a larger facility

The 173,000-square-foot warehouse on 9.5 acres along Leider Lane should provide considerably more comfort.

One of the key elements, officials said, was the additional space in the garage.

In the current building, dedicated in 1976, there are no drive aisles, and vehicles are densely packed. At the beginning of the day, 20 to 30 minutes are spent unloading the garage, while at the end of the day, the same amount of time is spent repacking the equipment.

Stilling said the village expects to close on the Leider Lane property sometime in late summer.

The cost of retrofitting the building will be significantly lower than it would be to construct a new facility, officials said.

"While retrofit is never perfect, we do feel pretty confident that this building will meet our needs, as well as create some partnership opportunities for us down the road," said Village Manager Dane Bragg, adding that the chosen building was one of five sites the village considered.

Trustee Gregory Pike said it is important that there is no increase in property taxes from the project.

In addition to approving the purchase, the village board also agreed to spend up to $125,000 for due diligence on the property, including investigations of any architectural, structural, mechanical and environmental issues.

Within that due diligence period, which can be extended twice for 30 days, the village has 60 days to rescind the contract.

Finally, the village voted to pay a commission to the broker, Colliers International. The village will owe a $263,000 commission at closing.

Buffalo Grove trustees agreed Tuesday to purchase this vacant warehouse at 1650 Leider Lane and retrofit it as a new public works facility. The village agreed to pay $13.15 million for the site. Courtesy of Buffalo Grove
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