DeKALB – Two former DeKalb Clinic buildings will be auctioned this week as a handful of smaller shops and restaurants downtown announce changes.
The buildings at 217 Franklin St. and 302 Grove St. have served as storage since the DeKalb Clinic moved its operations to a new facility near Kishwaukee Community Hospital in 2009. DeKalb Public Library officials considered buying the two buildings for $1.8 million, but abandoned the plan in October 2010 amid concerns over an improper closed-session vote and estimates that removing asbestos from the buildings would cost $100,000.
Since then, the properties’ worth has slipped with declining values throughout the area, with no starting value determined for Thursday’s auction. Neither Roger Hopkins, the city’s economic development consultant, nor DeKalb Clinic administrator Alice Frier could say who may show up for the auction.
“We’ve had a few inquiries over the past week,” Hopkins said.
According to Almburg Auctioneer’s website, any member of the public can bid on the two buildings, which have a total of 50,435 square feet. Potential bidders must be able to place $10,000 down Thursday, and pay the remaining balance by April 15.
Steve Almburg, of Almburg Auctioneer in Malta, said the buildings will be auctioned separately.
“We let the people auctioning it off decide that, and we’ll go from there,” Almburg said.
The 36,150-square-foot building on Franklin Street has a basement and three parking lots that fit a total of 79 cars, according to the auctioneer’s website, www.almburgauctions.com. The fair market value for that site has slipped from $1.1 million in 2010 to $986,000 in 2012, according to DeKalb County Assessor Robin Brunschon.
The Grove Street building, which is the smaller of the two, has a partial unfinished basement, a leaky roof and a parking lot that fits more than 80 cars. Its fair market value dropped from $353,630 in 2010 to $312,928 in 2012, county records show.
Meanwhile, DeKalb Clinic Chartered – the owner of the two buildings – paid $35,618.70 in property taxes due in 2012 on the Franklin Street site and $11,300.40 on the Grove Street site, county records show.
The former DeKalb Clinic buildings sit a couple of blocks south of Lincoln Highway, where DeKalb’s main downtown shopping district also anticipates changes.
Some new businesses are coming in – bridal shop Alexis Kay Designs at 128 E. Lincoln Highway and MCR Framing – which is returning to DeKalb after it left in 2011 – at 137 E. Lincoln Highway.
And some are moving or have closed. Golden Thai Jasmine Restaurant at 251 E. Lincoln Highway closed earlier this month, and the owners of Primitive Chic will move to Wisconsin in May. No Strings Attached at 248 E. Lincoln Highway will move down the street to the Junction Center.
Hopkins, the city’s economic development consultant, said downtown DeKalb is still a place of opportunity. The McDonald’s at 545 E. Lincoln Highway recently was demolished and will be renovated.
“You can still be successful in the downtown area,” Hopkins said. “Now that McDonald’s has been demolished, maybe some of the people can take advantage of those McDonald’s customers for the next six to eight months.”
Changes expected in downtown DeKalb
• Closed: Golden Thai Jasmine Restaurant, 251 E. Lincoln Highway
• Moving: No Strings Attached, 248 E. Lincoln Highway, and Primitive Chic, 223 E. Lincoln Highway
• Opening: Alexis Kay Designs, 128 E. Lincoln Highway, and MCR Framing, 137 E. Lincoln Highway
The auction for the old DeKalb Clinic buildings is 11 a.m. Thursday, held on the west end of the building at 217 Franklin St., DeKalb.