Last downtown lot still on the market

By on September 23, 2011

by Sandy Kaczmarski
ELBURN—Advertised as the “last buildable lot on Main Street in Elburn,” the parking lot at Shannon and Main is getting a few nibbles, but so far, no buyers.

“I’ve had two or three calls and there’s one party in particular that seems to be interested,” said Marvin Vestuto, owner of Vestuto Real Estate Corporation, the property’s broker. “It’s a nice corner, a very attractive corner, one of the last ones I know of in the area.”

The vacant lot, which has been owned by Community Congregational Church for about 10 years, mostly has been used by employees in the area and some shoppers. Listed for $249,900, the property has been on the market since July.

Church moderator Sharon Lackey said it was put up for sale because it was time-consuming to maintain, especially in winter with snow removal.

“It took a lot of time and effort into clearing it off appropriately for public safety,” she said. “We just decided that we would rather spend our time on mission work for the community.”

Vestuto, who lives in unincorporated St. Charles and is a 30-year member of St. Gall Catholic Church, which is located kitty-corner from the lot, said he’d like to see the city make an offer.

“My personal feeling is it would be an ideal piece of property for the city,” he said. “If somebody else bought this thing, then the parking goes away, and then where are you going to park?”

But Village President Dave Anderson said he hates to see an empty lot right on Main Street, and would prefer to see another business to expand the downtown district. He mentioned the success of Geneva’s Third Street, which has a thriving business district.

“You can’t find a parking place; they’re busy,” Anderson said. “That’s what we want.”

Anderson said there is parking in the area to accommodate the Main Street businesses.

“We’ve got both sides going north and south on Main Street,” he said. “We’ve got tons of parking. You’ve got to walk a little bit.”

The Village Board is not all in agreement. Trustee Jeff Walter said the village should look into parking possibilities downtown.

“We really need to look at all that parking, which is private property,” Walter said. “It could very easily become private and then you’re not going to be able to park on it.”

While the matter has been discussed informally, the Village Board has yet to take any action to address downtown parking.

The lot is listed as nearly 17,700 square feet and zoned B-1 for commercial use. The village’s building code describes the B-1 zoning to include “the most desirable use of land” to protect and strengthen the economic base of the village.

While Lackey is hopeful the property will sell, she’s being cautiously optimistic.

“We’re kind of waiting for an actual offer,” she said. “We’re not getting too excited about anything when people just ask about it.”