By Megann Horstead | For The Bugle
Redevelopment for a city-owned property just outside Slammers Stadium to include a doughnut shop and sandwich shop could be in the works.
Potential developers behind the proposal are generating interest from city staff, enough interest to consider beginning negotiations for a redevelopment agreement for what is known as the “Stadium Club” at 141 E. Jefferson St.
Discussion was held May 11 by members of the city’s economic development committee regarding the 18,000 square-foot building, which hasn’t been utilized in a number of years.
“Basically, this is the sort of proposal that really meets our downtown plan: mecca for young adults,” Deputy City Manager Steve Jones said.
Plans proposed for the site include 10 multi-family apartment units and three commercial spaces. The developer already holds a letter of intent from a sandwich shop and is currently in talks with a doughnut shop.
In late 2016, the city put together goals for economic development. Request for proposals were sent out to parties whose initiative is to put the building to use.
“When you think about it as a baseball stadium downtown, there’s more to it than that,” Jones said. “[The developer] had the vision to realize that with his three commercial spaces as opposed to one.”
Jones noted that grocery stores have become a source of interest on the city’s east side and said commercial space could include a convenience store if desired.
The developer intends to survey the market for other potential opportunities to occupy space within the building.
Economic Development Committee Chairman Larry Hug said he supports this proposal as it’s drafted.
“Believe it or not, I want to point out the other proposal was very good, too,” he said. “[We’re] getting a couple microbreweries up and running here in downtown. They were looking at putting a microbrewery.”
Hug noted that establishing another microbrewery in town could hold challenge for Joliet if the business closed and said it would be easier to fill the space later with other potential uses.
“I think this can be a good project,” Jones said. “If you would’ve told me six months ago this project would be ready before Crabigale’s, I wouldn’t have believed it. I would’ve thought this would be kind of a off-the-beaten-path property wouldn’t be attractive, but these guys were excited.”
The project, if approved by the Joliet City Council, is a probable 12-month build out.
City Center Partnership board seeking new members
The Joliet City Center Partnership is seeking new board members to join its ranks, its chairman said last week.
The board has yet to be expanded since the city approved a measure late last year expanding the special service area to businesses on Cass, Collins and Chicago streets. To add, the city’s Economic Development committee approved a memorandum of understanding to solidify rules between the City of Joliet and the Joliet City Center Partnership.
Chairman Bryan Kopman said those wanting to serve on the board should contact the Joliet City Center Partnership. The new members would be taken after new bylaws are drafted, he said.
The board’s rules currently stipulate that members must own property in the downtown, manage property there, work there or serve as an elected official whose district covers the area. A new measure was introduced into the memorandum of understanding to expand membership to as many as two new members from outside the district that possess expertise desired by the board.
The memorandum of understanding is to be reviewed by the Joliet City Council at a later date.