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New Lenox to buy four properties near Metra station

The village New Lenox is buying site where dry cleaners has operated.  |  ErGallagher/For Sun-Times Media

The village of New Lenox is buying the site where a dry cleaners has operated. | Erin Gallagher/For Sun-Times Media

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Updated: July 30, 2014 6:52AM



New Lenox’s vision to create a “quaint” downtown area near the existing Metra train station took a step forward Monday when the village board approved a measure to buy four properties north of U.S. 30 and east of Cedar Road.

The village expects to sell the properties to developers, who would demolish the existing businesses and buildings and start over.

The parcels being bought include the BP gas station, for $1.65 million; a dry cleaners, for $309,000; the former House of Hughes building, for $505,000; and the Pit Stop bar, for $375,000.

The village will not reveal the identities of the developers or businesses that have expressed interest until contracts are finalized, Mayor Tim Baldermann said. But the companies the village is in discussions with will be “huge” to the residents and community, he said.

Economic development director Nancy Hoehn previously said buying the land was the next step in creating a “quaint” downtown. The village has been adding sidewalks along the north side of U.S. 30, to connect the shopping center that’s anchored by Walmart to the area of the Metra station.

A luxury apartment complex also is in the planning stages, and the village intends to eventually build a new Metra station with the sales tax revenue from the new businesses that move in where the four parcels are. The existing station is considered a landmark, making it nearly impossible to repair, Baldermann previously said.

The vote to approve the property purchases was unanimous. Trustee David Smith absent.



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