A downtown Streator building's future was discussed Tuesday.
Contractor Jeff Zavada and Streator City Engineer Jeremy Palm presented a plan to the City Council for rehabilitating the property at 409 E. Main St., next door to Rashid’s Men’s Wear, which currently has scaffolding around its facade.
The property is has been a long-standing code enforcement issue and has deteriorated to the point where it needs intervention.
“The building needs to be completely emptied and the debris needs to be removed,” Palm said. “We’ll have to help in fixing the roof and tuck pointing the facade. Once the building is stabilized, Jeff will renovate it to get it ready for lease.”
Zavada said the work on the facade should be complete in 30 to 60 days, and given that the building currently doesn’t produce any money for the city, it could benefit from having it be usable in the future.
The out-of-town property owner is an elderly man with no means to address the issues with the building, according to a memo to the City Council. The city has already undertaken brick work on the front and back of the building, which led to a lien against the building of roughly $8,000.
“I don’t want or need the building but in the long run it’d help the city if it can get sold,” Zavada said. “If we can get someone in there to do something with it we might be able to set off the cost with the tax money.”
An issue with the building is that in its current condition it is not attractive to developers.
The city’s portion of the building work would have an immediate cost of $75,000. If the City Council wanted to tear the building down it would cost $185,000 due to the extra work necessary on neighboring buildings in order to keep them structurally sound.
“The owner has no resources and you’re hoping somebody can get it with back taxes and then the city government has to step in as a last resort," said City Manager David Plyman. "It sounds to me like we’re going to have a situation with this building that leaves us with bad alternatives.”
Mayor Jimmie Lansford said the city is past the point of being able to do nothing because the building is an issue in public safety as it is and it can only get worse.
The project would qualify for TIF funds.
The City Council’s next meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. Wednesday, May 22. Lansford and council members Tara Bedei and Brian Crouch will retake their oath of office after being re-elected.