Former Alderman Brewing Ideas for Downtown

Jason Leslie, of Three Angels Brewing, is interested in the city's former post office building.

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.

Jason Leslie June 21, 2012 at 01:56 PM
Agreed John. However, three local municipalities are offering us (Three Angels) free buildings and financing. One of them offered $800,000 cash. Please come hear what I am attempting to do, and the uniqueness of our approach to business. Yorkville needs more retail tax base, more jobs and more employed citizens. Please help me do all three. I have a track record. Check it out!
Todd Milliron June 21, 2012 at 07:35 PM
Jason, I never tasted your beer and wish you well as an entrepreneur, maybe the post office is an ideal spot for a brewery. I think having No Landfill in Yorkville is a plus. I think a Chief Deputy who resigned and is not buying beer on our taxpayer credit card is a plus. I think having and supporting for 9 years the best 2012 HS Class 2A band in the state is a plus. It is not about being negative or a conspiracy, I am a student of local recent history; I was just stating facts and observations regarding the timing. The debate for the Rec Center is coming to a head; it requires three readings before COY-CC. I would encourage you to make Yorkville taxpayers whole, should you decide to make an offer on the Old P.O. What is the hurry? Let the COY Rec Center Discussion and that Vote be made first, that old P. O. may be needed for what may be left of the Yorkville Parks and Rec. Dept. @Dave, it is common knowledge from recent press reports that REC Center will be a topic on the next COY agenda and it is common sense that with no Rec Center Building there will be substantial changes for City Parks and Rec. Dept. SEE = http://www.yorkville.il.us/documents/AdhocRecFacilityPacket6-11-12.pdf
Alyssa Battaglia June 22, 2012 at 03:27 AM
I think Mr. Leslie has an AMAZING idea! In addition, our leaders need to start thinking outside of the box to generate revenue for our city. We need more businesses here; I'm tired of having to drive to Oswego and Naperville for many things. Get this city moving; allow Mr. Leslie to make this happen! Alyssa Battaglia
Dock Ellis June 22, 2012 at 03:24 PM
Bob Allen June 22, 2012 at 11:48 PM
Two words: Damage Control I really don't care about the old post office. Just another $375,000 that the city wasted before I was on the council and before Val Burd was mayor. But any new business needs to step carefully in this weak economy. Some of Burd's friends may be interested in visiting your business. Perhaps you should contact her directly and clarify some of your previous statements.


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