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Local News

Brew pub lease, TIF District going to Joliet City Council for approval

JOLIET – The prospective co-owner of a downtown brew pub said Thursday that he will try to open this fall.

Gregory Lesiak was at a meeting of the Joliet City Council Economic Development Committee, which recommended that a lease agreement for the brew pub at Union Station go to the full City Council for a vote on Tuesday.

Lesiak did not say much about his plans at the meeting and later told The Herald-News that he wanted to wait until the lease was finalized before doing an interview about the plans.

But he did tell the committee that he hopes to open in the fall and the brew pub would be named Golden Spike.

Lesiak told The Herald-News later that this would be the first brew pub that he and his partner have opened.

Golden Spike LLC would get an initial five-year lease for rent at $84,000 a year for up to 12,700 square feet of Union Station. The lease includes options to extend the agreement for an additional 10 years at escalating rent that eventually would rise to $102,000 a year.

The city also would give Golden Spike credits up to $300,000 for the cost of improvements at Union Station for the brew pub, meaning it could operate in the initial three years without paying rent depending on how much is spent on renovations.

“It’s a huge, very costly project. It cannot be taken lightly,” Lesiak told the committee. “The help from the city is almost everything.”

Committee Chairman Larry Hug called the lease “very fair,” noting that one part of the area to be used by the brew pub actually has a dirt floor.

“There’s a lot of work to do,” Hug said.

The Golden Spike would use an area that housed two previous bars that went out of business at Union Station. It also would use the former Amtrak office and other space, taking up about half of the first floor of the station that stopped being used for train travel in 2014.

In addition to running a brew pub, the Golden Spike plans to can beer for retail sale.

Hospital TIF district

Also going to the City Council for a vote Tuesday is a proposal to create a tax increment financing district in areas south and west of Presence Saint Joseph Medical Center.

The TIF district is seen as a way to encourage redevelopment of certain properties and bring more health care providers to the hospital neighborhood.

The committee recommended approval of the TIF proposal, which would run west to the Joliet Junction Trail and south to Jefferson Street.

“When you look at Saint Joseph, they’ve shown a great deal of loyalty to Joliet,” Hug said. He said the TIF district could create opportunities for Presence to attract other health care providers it would like to see close to the hospital.

TIF districts are used to encourage development by allowing a developer to keep increased property taxes generated by improvements to offset certain construction costs.

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