A base selldown: Village board expected to vote to sell two more buildings

RANTOUL — There remain quite a few properties for sale on the long-gone Chanute Air Force Base, though slowly but surely the village of Rantoul is selling off the former Air Force buildings it owns.  

Property sales and a loan to upgrade downtown properties were among the items discussed at last week’s village board study session.

Property sales
At this week’s monthly meeting, the board is expected to approve the sale, for $85,000, of a building at 707 E. Veterans Parkway that formerly housed the Rantoul Products Plant 2. Jens Klingenburg, doing business as 718 Real Estate, Rantoul, has agreed to purchase the building.

Colonial Midwest Imports occupies a portion of the facility. Rantoul Airport Director Eric Vences, who oversees the sale of many of the village properties on the former base, said the company will continue to lease space at the 100,000-square-foot block building that is located on about 16.6 acres.

Vences said Klingenburg will “look to manage and update the building through various facility improvements.”

The village board is also expected to approve the sale of a building, for $20,000, at 1008 Aviation Road to  Dale Churovich of Gifford.

Public Works Director Greg Hazel said Churovich plans to use the 800-square-foot building as a woodworking shop and for office space. Vences said Churovich intends to renovate the property.

It had been used by the Air Force as an administration building for the intercontinental ballistic missile training program. The building stands next to Grissom Hall.

Vences said the village “has been gaining some traction the last few months” in terms of base property sales with the probable sale of these two buildings and the sale of the former firehouse and Building 56 (now home to Analog Outfitters) last year.

He said the soon-to-be completed new Lincoln’s Challenge campus and the upgrade of properties purchased by Altamont have improved the appearance of the former base. And in the private sector, a Taiwan-based company, UAN Power Corp., recently purchased the former base post office building from Amerinvest to convert it into a production facility.

EDA loan for downtown
The board is also expected to approve a $120,000 Economic Development Administration loan to Victor Torres Jr. to replace the roof and repair the masonry on five downtown properties he owns in the 100 block of North Garrard Street.

The Revolving Loan Committee recommended approval of the loan.

The committee deferred a decision on whether to recommend a $140,000 loan for Pamela Henricks to expand her daycare business and buy the former Developmental Services Center on base.

Economic Development Director Rebecca Motley said the committee would like to receive verification from various regulatory agencies such as Department of Children and Family Services, the fire marshall and public health department that the building meets guidelines.

The committee was satisfied with financial information provided by Henricks, Motley said.




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