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St. Charles to buy East Main Street building

Published: Tuesday, Dec. 18, 2012 5:30 a.m. CDT

ST. CHARLES – A two-story commercial building in downtown St. Charles that housed a sporting goods store for the past 40 years soon will belong to the city.

The St. Charles City Council on Monday night unanimously approved the purchase of 107-109 E. Main St., the former home of George’s Sporting Goods.

Township records indicate it was built in 1901.

City Administrator Brian Townsend said the $225,000 purchase will come from unspent funds budgeted for capital projects. The city is expected to close on the 6,600-square-foot property by the end of the year, he said.

He noted the city was approached by the current owners the Poczekaj family.

The building has been a “top target” among stakeholders – such as the Downtown St. Charles Partnership – because of its appearance, Townsend said. He said the roof, structure stabilization and doors and windows are among the areas needing improvements.

“We want to make the building look nice,” Townsend said.

Neither a timeline nor budget has been established for the repairs, he said.

The city does not have a specific use planned for the structure, Townsend said. However, it plans to approach Scott Price – owner of the Arcada Theatre – and Ron Onesti – president and CEO of the theater – about a partnership that could enable the venue to expand.

A recent economic impact study on the Arcada Theatre cited a lack of modern facilities, including adequate restrooms and concessions, Townsend said; the city plans to release information on the study today. Now, he said, the theater’s yearly economic impact is about $2 million and additional space could boost it to $2.4 million.

Onesti has identified the building as a contender for expansion, Townsend said. He said Onesti and Price are aware of the city’s plan to purchase the building and have expressed interest about working with the city.

The theater and former retail shop do not have a physical connection, Townsend said.

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