The St. Charles City Council, in its last scheduled meeting of 2012, voted unanimously Monday night to purchase the former George’s Sports Center, 107-109 E. Main St., with an eye toward partnering with the Arcada Theatre, 105 E. Main St., to provide it with additional facilities.
The cost of the $225,000 purchase will be paid for through savings the city achieved on some of its capital projects over the past year, or from capital projects that were planned but can be delayed, said St. Charles City Administrator Brian Townsend.
George’s closed in the second quarter of the year after a more than 40-year run. The business, owned by the Poczekaj family, offered a variety of sports equipment and gear. Its first floor was devoted to retail use, and the second floor held two apartments, which have been vacant for several years, Townsend said.
After they closed the business, Townsend said, the Poczekaj family approached the city to see if it would be interested in purchasing their building.
In recent years, the property had become a top target for downtown stakeholders, including the Downtown St. Charles Partnership, because of its appearance and its prominent Main Street location, he added.
“What happened earlier this year is that the owners closed the sporting goods store, they approached the city about a potential interest in purchasing the property, and we were able to negotiate what we believe is a very fair and attractive price — $225,000,” Townsend said. The building totals 6,600 square feet on the first and second floors.
The building is in need of attention, and Townsend said, and the city has identified some of those needs, which it will sort into short-, mid-, and long-term priorities.
Some of the needs include roof repairs, some structural stabilization work needed in the basement, new doors and windows, tuck-pointing the masonry, among others. “So there are further investments that will need to be made to bring the building up to the proper conditions,” he said. “And we want to make the building look nice,” particularly since it fronts on Main Street.
Townsend said the city has not yet entered into talks about partnering with the Arcada in the venture. If that does not pan out, he said the building could be fixed up and put on the market, although “I think our plan would be to hold it for a while.”
Still, the Arcada has indicated in the past an interest in its next-door neighbor as the most logical direction for an expansion.