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Batavia exploring the sale of Thomle building

Published: Monday, Nov. 12, 2012 5:26 p.m. CDT

BATAVIA – Batavia officials want to determine whether there is any interest in developing the city-owned Thomle building.

Since 1997, the city has owned the historic 1876-built building at 2 E. Wilson St. in downtown Batavia. The city in the past has rented the space to businesses at a reduced rate to encourage new businesses into the downtown.

The latest incubator business, Simonetti Studios, recently moved from the Thomle building to a second-story loft space in the old City Hall building at 30 Shumway Ave.

The city now is exploring whether to sell the building. Over the last several months, the city has been approached by individuals interested in acquiring and developing the property, Assistant City Administrator Jason Bajor said.

Staff is planning to ask for request for proposals from interested developers. The City Council's Community Development Committee is set to discuss the issue at its meeting today at the Batavia Government Center, 100 N. Island Ave.

In a memo to aldermen, Bajor outlined several redevelopment goals for the building. Bajor said any proposal should contribute to the commercial activity within the city's downtown.

He said the city will consider a wide range of commercial and residential uses that conform with the goals of the city's comprehensive plan and downtown mixed-use (i.e., commercial and residential) zoning district

City officials also want to preserve the building's historic architecture and urban design, Bajor said.

"As a significant historic building in the downtown, it is the desire of the city to have the building remain in place, however, proposals that include an addition to the building would be considered more desirous," Bajor said.

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