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Couple aiming to move forward on Elburn storage facility

Dempseys seek variance to avoid having to improve nearby road

ELBURN – Elburn residents Laura and Brent Dempsey have ideas for a storage facility in the village, with plans to start small and perhaps one day build to as many as 14
buildings near South Street and Thryselius Drive in Elburn.

What they don’t want to do is foot a bill that could be as high as $1 million to improve areas of both roads as part of the construction process.

They approached the Village Board on Monday, seeking a variance that would eliminate the need to make such improvements.

Village President Dave Anderson on Monday said the location for such a facility was ideal.

It is west of Route 47 and west of Lions Park. But he added that the village’s ordinance indicates anyone wishing to build in that area must finish the roadway.

Brent Dempsey said the cost of that goes beyond simply paving the road, and the price would be “about $1,000 a linear foot.”

“Are we talking a million bucks?” board member Bill Grabarek asked. Brent Dempsey said it would be.

Village officials said Monday they would be willing to work out details with the couple.

At first, some board members talked of sending it back to the planning commission, which did not recommend the variance.

But Bob Britz, the village’s attorney, said the issue should be worked out with village staffers instead.

“The planning commission is very sympathetic to the project,” Britz said, adding that the commissions members “didn’t vote against it. They just didn’t approve it.”

Laura Dempsey said some of her family members have owned such storage facilities in other areas. Since the Dempseys live in Elburn, she said it’s their desire to build in the village.

It would be called South Street Storage, she said, and a feature of the business would be moveable walls on the inside that could create flexible storage spaces.

There would be between 32 and 36 units in each building.

They would start with perhaps two buildings and hope to grow from there.

In other news, a business with plans to open in August appears poised to receive a facade grant from the village. Corner Grind, a coffee shop set to open at 2 S. Main St., Elburn, would receive $5,000, so long as the improvements cost more than $10,000.

The improvements are estimated to cost more than $14,000.

Board members backed the plan and could approve it at a meeting in June.

Tony Cobb, the business’ owner, said there were plans for an earlier opening, but instead he had to address water damage that occurred during the harsh winter. Cobb, who also owns Riverview Banquets in Batavia, previously said he would aim to feature specialty coffees, as well as baked items for breakfast and sandwiches for lunch.

He also said, after hearing from residents since announcing his plans in January, that he intends to serve doughnuts.

Anderson said the business will be welcome.

“We’re tickled pink that you’re here,” he said.

• Al Lagattolla is the news editor of the Kane County Chronicle. Write to him at

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