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Batavia mayor optimistic about business prospects

Published: Wednesday, Dec. 4, 2013 5:30 a.m. CDT
(Nicole Weskerna –
Batavia Mayor Jeff Schielke addressed members of the Batavia Chamber of Commerce on Tuesday during the annual Mayor's Breakfast in Batavia.

BATAVIA – Batavia Mayor Jeff Schielke on Tuesday summed up his outlook for business in Batavia in one word – optimistic.

Schielke addressed members of the Batavia Chamber of Commerce during the annual Mayor’s Breakfast, during which he outlined a number of areas in Batavia that are ripe for development or redevelopment.

He said the city is poised for a housing boom in the next few years, as an estimated 1,200 to 1,500 new housing units soon could be built there.

He said a recent annexation of Mooseheart property is slated to be used to build senior or age-restricted housing units. As many as 830 housing units could be built on that property, he said.

“I anticipate this will be developed over the next few years,” Schielke said. “That 1,200 to 1,500 [housing unit] number – a lot of that will take place in the Mooseheart area.”

Schielke said he anticipates the Siemens property between McKee and West Wilson streets along Van Nortwick Avenue soon might be developed into a mixed-use residential housing area, possibly including condos, townhouses and single-family homes.

Utilizing a service from a new business in town, Schmanke Media – a company that takes aerial photos and videos using small model planes – Schielke took chamber members on a tour of Batavia from above to show areas that soon might be developed.

Schielke said many major retailers have chosen to build in the Tri-Cities area because the population of the Tri-Cities, combined with that of Mill Creek and Campton Township, adds up to about 125,000 people, and counting.

Schielke highlighted the new addition to the Walmart store and noted that Batavia has become known as the central Kane County grocery area.

“What’s missing is a higher-end Fresh Market-type of grocer,” he said. “I predict one or two of those will show up on the Tri-Cities stretch of Randall.”

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