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Yoga studio may head to downtown Batavia

BATAVIA – Aldermen hope a proposed yoga studio will add to the revitalization of downtown Batavia.

The City Council’s Community Development Committee on Tuesday recommended approval of a $25,000 downtown improvement grant for Kay Eck of Wheaton, who wants to open a yoga studio in the building at 5 and 7 N. River St. The full City Council is set to vote on the recommendation at its meeting Monday.

Eck wants to renovate a 2,500-square-foot space into a retail area and yoga studio. The project is expected to cost $121,251.

The City Council in 2009 established the downtown improvement grant program, which provides building owners with up to 50 percent of actual improvement costs.

The project also includes a coffee/tea bar. Eck said she eventually wants to open a full cafe. She also will sell yoga clothing and activewear.

Seventh Ward Alderman Dave Brown, chairman of the Community Development Committee, sees the yoga studio as generating interest in the downtown and bringing people to the area.

“Hopefully, they will help out other businesses on the street, like The Rhino Room,” Brown said of the downtown restaurant. “It will bring people to the downtown. That’s why I am in favor of it.”

Eck said she wants to tap into the growing interest in yoga. Batavia Mayor Jeff Schielke said he thought a yoga studio will be a good fit for the downtown.

“I appreciate the applicant for wanting to come into this community and make an investment,” Schielke said.

First Ward Alderman Michael O’Brien noted Eck is coming in with the proposal before the streetscape improvements on North River Street are complete. The street is set to reopen to pedestrians and cars Oct. 19.

“I think it shows vision that we will have a beautiful street,” O’Brien said.

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