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Art Van Furniture may fill long-vacant Batavia Wickes store

Published: Thursday, April 18, 2013 5:30 a.m. CDT • Updated: Thursday, April 18, 2013 7:10 a.m. CDT

BATAVIA – A new furniture store soon could open for business within the vacant former Wickes store on Randall Road.

In March, Paragon Batavia – affiliated with Paragon Real Estate, an Oak Brook-based property management and acquisition company – purchased the former Wickes store at 165 N. Randall Road, Batavia.

The property has been vacant, aside from seasonal occupancy by stores selling Halloween-related merchandise, since Wickes went out of business in 2008.

According to Kane County property records, Paragon paid $3.5 million for the store, buying it from Oak Park-based Northwest Boulevard Inc.

A representative of Paragon did not reply to a message sent to him by the Kane County Chronicle concerning the transaction.

However, according to a release posted online, the former Wickes store is slated to become one of several new stores Warren, Mich.-based Art Van Furniture intends to open in the Chicago area this year.

The release states that Paragon has leased the building to Art Van Furniture, and the retailer intends to “take occupancy” of the store this summer.

Art Van Furniture also indicated in a separate release its plans to open a store in Batavia this year, along with stores in Bolingbrook, Orland Park, Ford City and Lincoln Park.

Jason Bajor, Batavia’s assistant city administrator who oversees economic development recruitment at City Hall, said city officials have been in contact with a retail tenant “looking to locate in that store.”

“It’s an ongoing conversation,” Bajor said.

“But we’re hopeful to be able to bring a proposal to the [Batavia] City Council within the next month or so.”

Bajor would not specify what requests, such as sales tax rebates or zoning concessions, that “proposal” might include.

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