The Glen Ellyn Chamber of Commerce will be required to make improvements at its new office, a village-owned building located at 810 N. Main St.
Trustees approved the new agreement 5-0 during Monday's board meeting. The licensing agreement, also approved by the chamber, requires at least $16,000 in improvements annually. The agreement also stipulates that the chamber must make at least $30,000 worth of improvements in the first six months of the five-year licensing agreement. There are high renovation costs required to make the building functional, and the village believes this agreement is the most efficient and cost-effective way to make those repairs.
Part of the aging structure was demolished in April 2012, leaving a commercial space open that the village could rent but the infrastructure was in need of repair. The idea to partner with the chamber came last summer when the chamber officials approached village staff inquiring about renting the space. After working out the details the chamber is finally set to relocate and plans to move into 810 N. Main by this fall.
Before the chamber relocates to 810 N. Main St., the village will need to reimburse the chamber $75,000 to make the building operational before the chamber takes over. It's not a rental agreement so the chamber will not pay a monthly rent, but the chamber will be required to pay the village an annual licensing fee of $3,125. And, either party could end the agreement without cause given a 90-day notice.
Even though all the board members voted in favor of the agreement, trustee Diane McGinley is wary about continuing the village's role as landlord.
"I'm excited to have the use of the building fit in with that corner, so that part greatly entices me, but I'd like to see the village get out of building ownership," said McGinley.
Mike Formento, executive director of the Glen Ellyn Chamber of Commerce, said the group looked at renting a space in the central business district but said it would be "inappropriate" to take up space from a potential retailer.
"We think there are many opportunities that are positive. We see no down side to it, whatsoever, and we're delighted to become a new partnership with Glen Ellyn," said Formento.
President Mark Pfefferman said having the chamber at Stacy's Corners will be the "perfect northern welcome." The new offices will add a visitor center for potential developers and prospective business owners. Each year, Formento said 3,000 individuals stop in the chamber offices to inquire about the opportunities in Glen Ellyn.
The chamber is hoping to relocate in the fall.