Geneva to see improvements; ‘slew’ of new businesses to open

Published: Wednesday, Jan. 1, 2014 5:30 a.m. CDT

GENEVA – Improvements to infrastructure, transportation and business opportunities will be in the forefront of 2014 in Geneva, Mayor Kevin Burns said.

“We’re looking forward to a couple of things I think will certainly improve not only the transportation but the environment,” Burns said.

First is the completion of the Kautz Road/Route 38 overpass and second is the addition of a third-tier downtown commuter parking deck, Burns said.

“From a business development standpoint, we will be welcoming a slew of new businesses that will add to the exciting environment that already exists in Geneva,” Burns said.

One of them will be the opening of Penrose Brewing, a 14,000-square-foot microbrewery and tasting room at 509 Stevens St. near Wheeler Park.

Another will be Nobele, which is expected to take over the short-lived and now shuttered Tavalino at 305 W. State St., he said. Another will be the anticipated opening of a restaurant and lounge in the historic district called The Patten House, 124 S. Second St. Burns said it was named for George Patten who built it in 1857.

“It goes without saying that there is accelerated interest in the redevelopment of the Mill Race Inn,” Burns said. “We understand there is a purchaser going through a due diligence stage, so we are hopeful redevelopment will be coming real soon.”

Burns said officials are also hopeful for movement on the Southeast Master Plan for redevelopment opportunities on land east of Kirk Road and south of Route 38.

“We have already established it as light industrial,” Burns said. “And with the economy ticking up, lots of conversations are being had about opportunities there. We believe there is going to be a lot of activity.”

Geneva is also expected to see the completion of Delnor Hospital’s redesign of its entrance, campus and the finishing of the cancer care center.

The city itself will market property for redevelopment purposes, such as eight acres on Lewis Road. Burns said it was purchased about 15 years ago for the possible expansion of its water treatment plant. Plans for that fell through when officials chose to build further west, instead.

“There has been some very strong interest in development opportunities to complement the area,” Burns said. “We are hopeful that will move forward.”

The anticipated sale of the Geische Shoes building will be another opportunity for adding to the downtown, Burns said.

“It’s a great location. An integral part of the downtown,” he said. “I don’t anticipate that building staying vacant for long.”

– Brenda Schory

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