Former Yorkville alderman Jason Leslie has a vision for the old post office building along the Fox River.
Leslie anticipates gutting the building at 201 Hydraulic St. and building a craft beer manufacturing space, retail space, and terraced landscaping in the back leading to a riverside pathway. Leslie thinks the space would be an extension of the Three Angels Brewing he started with area attorney Boyd Ingemunson, as well as a complement to other downtown developments.
He expects the downtown location would be open three days a week, offer three or so craft beers for patrons to drink on site and perhaps brew a few other beers for a downtown pub.
But first, he needs Yorkville aldermen to agree to sell the building. Aldermen didn’t support selling the building when it was discussed during a committee meeting last week. Aldermen did not know of Leslie’s plans, but some wanted to determine whether before selling potential programming space.
“I’m not opposed to looking at this again in 6 months, once we decide what we’re doing with the REC Center,” said Ward 2 Alderman Larry Kot.
Leslie said he plans to attend next week’s City Council meeting to try to convince aldermen to change their minds.
The city bought the building in February 2006 when the post office moved to its current location on Countryside Parkway, City Administrator Bart Olson wrote in a memo to aldermen. The city paid $275,000 for the building and put $100,000 into renovating it, Olson said.
The building once housed the offices for the city’s parks and recreation department, but now it provides space for five or six recreation programs a week. Olson said those classes easily could be moved, and selling the building would provide more property tax revenue, including revenue for the downtown tax increment financing district.
If aldermen want to pursue selling the building, Olson suggested publishing a request for proposals. There would be a deadline for prospective purchases to submit bids and aldermen could accept any bid (not necessarily the highest offer) with a ¾-majority vote.