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Historic hotel won’t be taken over by city after all January 30, 2007

Posted by Ron Warnick in Businesses, Preservation.
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A few weeks ago, we passed along a report by the Kankakee (Ill.) Daily Journal that said the city of Wilmington was going to take over the historic Eagle Hotel on Route 66 on Jan. 15 because its owner, William Scales, didn’t have it operating as a business by a city-imposed five-year deadline.

On Monday, the Joliet Herald-News reported that may not be the case after all.

[Assistant Administrator Sheryl] Puracchio based her announcement on a contract signed by Scales and Tony McGann, the former mayor. The document was dated Jan. 15, 2001.

Attorneys reviewing the documents learned that for some reason the actual deal for the building did not officially close until April 2003. The closing documents were not included with the recorded contract.

“I contacted Mr. Scales immediately and apologized,” Puracchio said. “In addition, I stated that the city has the same goal in mind, to have the hotel restored and operational.”

This new finding gives Scales an April 2008 deadline.

“There is no way I am giving up on this project,” Scales said. “I am just as passionate for this project as I was when it started many years ago.”

The story makes it clear there was confusion between the city and Scales on the agreement, if there was one at all. Regardless, it seems apparent the city has backed off, and Scales will have about 14 months to open the Eagle Hotel, built in 1836, as a hotel/restaurant. This is certainly a better situation than having the hotel be in limbo all over again.
(Hat tip to Lynn “Lulu” Bagdon.) 

Comments»

1. Hoping for positive outcome - March 17, 2008

Hope the town council can work with Mr. Scales for a win win outcome. Upscale might not be what the whole town would utilize, but they would be happy with it bring in tax dollars and tourist dollars wouldn’t they? Don’t they know that the more businesses they have in their commercial district, that it drives down property taxes in the residental areas? Where are the other down town business owners? Are they afraid of the “we don’t like Bill” bandwagon to speak up?


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