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.

jill leslie June 20, 2012 at 07:14 PM
I hope the council and its' citizenry have as much faith and confidence in my husband's ability as I do, and all of those he has helped throughout his life. Jill Leslie
It all comes out in the wash June 20, 2012 at 07:26 PM
Sell this property to Mr. Leslie who wants to add a business in this town. After all the city says they are broke so sell any property you can. This will help fund some of those expenses our Alderman say we can't afford and perhaps add a few jobs.
Rosie Battista Millen June 20, 2012 at 07:30 PM
Good luck Jason!! Sounds awesome! I hope the city and community will embrace the individuals who have great vision and hope for the downtown and are willing to invest in our city!
Todd Milliron June 20, 2012 at 09:17 PM
History Lesson = Former COY Alderman Jason Leslie and now Mayor Golinski were the two alderman at the same time and were the two City of Yorkville representatives that were responsible for negotiating the original Rec Center Lease with the Walkers. Presently, a revised purchase agreement for the Rec Center with a lower purchase price than was first negotiated by these two is to be a topic on next COY meeting agenda and that discussion will determine if City of Yorkville will even have a City Parks and Recreation Dept. . The timing is curious as to how the discussion about the future of these two properties just happens to intersect and now appears to come full circle for these two individuals. The decisions which are to made in the next few weeks will be critical to these two properties and will also determine the long term future for the City Parks and Rec. Dept. /Rec. Center.
Jason Leslie June 20, 2012 at 10:11 PM
Todd I'm saddened by the fact that you have never been a part of a positive campaign for anything in your public life that I am aware of. It is a small, small man that criticizes the efforts of others, while he himself does nothing but bring despair. I know you are capable of much more. Turn over a new leaf Todd. Give me a call and get on board with something positive. There is no conspiracy Todd, come and see for yourself.
It all comes out in the wash June 20, 2012 at 10:13 PM
I would expect the purchase price to be much lower today just because of the market. Our homes are much less so why shouldn't the Rec Center? Seems to me that if the city is still in favor of having a Rec center then the Walkers will sell it at FMV or it can sit there empty. I'm in favor of this vs some business deal with the Y who discriminates. What Govt entity would negotiate any dealings with some business that discriminates. I don't believe the Fox Valley Y (BTW Percell sits on the board) has changed their policies from 2007 when this topic first came up. Currently we have Alderman who want to close the door on the Rec center but suck off tax payers for Health Insurance as part time elected officials. As long as they continue to preach the city is broke call themselves fiscal conservative & are "adamantly opposed" to many expenses but have no problem with us paying their Health Insurance then they have ZERO credability. This community and it's residents should always come first when your a member of that council not your own selfish personal gain.
It all comes out in the wash June 20, 2012 at 10:21 PM
Jason I hope that you are able to purchase this building and help this community grow. I would love to see an influx of businesses come into Yorkville and jobs for the unemployed.
Jake Koester June 20, 2012 at 10:48 PM
Please tell us more about the Y discriminating. I always thought the Y was a great organization that does good throughout the community.
John Edwards June 20, 2012 at 11:09 PM
Can the taxpayers have a say in the purchase price and terms? I seem to remember a long time ago an ex-city official got a deal on some city-owned property and flipped it. Since this is riverfront property, it is premium. I'd say a purchase price of $2.5M with no TIF involved, payable over 20 years at 6% interest. Seems like a fair price. Similar to the Rec Center deal...There, problem solved. Any other thoughts?
Tim June 20, 2012 at 11:47 PM
Yes, there was a conspiracy to cause a nationwide collapse in the commercial real estate market, so these two guys in Yorkville could turn a profit of a few tens of thousands of dollars in reduced real estate purchase price. Todd, I see a pattern forming. When you think something is true in your mind, you simply ramble it out unfiltered as if it was true in reality.
Dave B June 21, 2012 at 02:12 AM
Mr Milliron how do you know that the future of the COY Park and Rec department is dependent upon wheather or not there is a Rec Center. Also, how do you know what's on the agenda for future city council meetings? It's not posted on the COY website/
Battles June 21, 2012 at 04:36 AM
I don't know the politics if Yorkville & the rec center, but I do know the vision of Three Angels Brewery. This is a business, better yet a passion of 3 guys that want to bring an upscale craft to great downtown. I have known Jason my entire life and this is about sharing his creativity, and starting in a place that he calls home. Jason will stop at nothing to make this business a success Not because of others or politics, but because this is what he loves to do - not just craft beer, but success. I don't even live in Yorkville, but like the "Field of Dreams - if you build it they will come". Pass This and hold on tight.
Jason Leslie June 21, 2012 at 01:26 PM
John Edwards (not the dude that was just acquitted right? :)), $2.5 million for a building that I purchased as an alderman in 2006 for $275,000 ?!? Please tell me your secret of Realestate Genius. In case you haven't noticed we're in a real estate down cycle. Anyone can have a say, but not you John. I don't trust your math!
Jason Leslie June 21, 2012 at 01:28 PM
You Rock Mr. Battles !!!
Scratch on Patch June 21, 2012 at 01:35 PM
I am in favor of selling this building. However, it is a premium location and should be sold as such. There is a limit to riverfront property so expect to pay....
Scratch on Patch June 21, 2012 at 01:42 PM
@Jason - I completely support your vision and craft brewing. Although 2.5M may be an overshot, don't believe that riverfront property will be cheap since there is a current down turn. Location, Location, Location and it has all 3.
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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