RANTOUL — One by one, property that formerly was in the hands of the Air Force and later the village is being sold into private hands.
The latest sales — expected to be approved at Tuesday night’s village board meeting — was that of buildings at 508 Eagle Drive to Dewey’s Inc. for $23,925 and 706 Waters Drive to Cameron Juday Real Estate for $65,000.
The Eagle Drive properties — former Chanute buildings 705 and 706 — served as part of the base’s water treatment facility. Public Works Director Greg Hazel said 705 is a 4,200-square-foot brick building, and 706 is a 3,300-square-foot metal building.
“Both of them have been unoccupied for some time and are not in especially good condition,” Hazel said.
He said the new owner will look to renovate the area for a storage facility for personal property. Both buildings contain the original tanks and equipment that “will require significant demolition,” he said.
The buildings are located at the northwest corner of Veterans Parkway and Eagle Drive.
The building at 706 Waters Drive at one time was the boiler building for the Chanute central steam plant. It spans about 3,000-square-feet and is on about 3.7 acres.
Hazel said Juday will also use the building for storage of personal property related to maintenance of his adjacent properties.
Village Administrator Scott Eisenhauer said it was necessary to conduct the bidding process for the property twice because there was confusion among the three bidders as to how much land came with the building.
“We realized that not all three of them had bid on the same thing,” Eisenhauer said.
The village owns far more property in the form of buildings and land than most other communities of its size. Officials had hoped Los Angeles businessman John Van Der Velde would take some of the largest parcels off their hands — four large airplane hangars and the building that houses the AT&T call center. Even so, that doesn’t necessarily mean the village will be stuck with the hangars.
The potential multi-million-dollar Van Der Velde sale, which fell through due to lack of funding on his part, evidently served to advertise the properties as being for sale.
“There has been significant (increased interest) in the hangars,” Eisenhauer said. “In fact, there are days I wish I had five more.”
Eisenhauer said he has been impressed with not only the number of requests the village is able to consider, but the nature of those requests. He did not elaborate on the latter statement.
Eisenhauer also said Van Der Velde has not remitted the amount he owes the village. As part of a $5.450 million deal that called for Van Der Velde to buy the five buildings at the former air base, the village was paying Van Der Velde lease payments for use of one of the hangars. That money needs to be paid back to the village.
Eisenhauer said Van Der Velde has been hospitalized, “which I know from a timely perspective has set him back a bit.”
Airport Manager Eric Vences, who oversees sales of the properties on the former base, said in addition to the sale of the Eagle Drive and Waters Drive property this week, the village has closed on property at 701 Pacesetter, Building 56; 601 Galaxy Building 43 (base fire station); and 1112 Enterprise, Building 513, since he has worked for the village.
The village has entered into contracts on (pending FAA release or closing that has yet to happen): 1008 Aviation, Building 26; 707 Veterans Parkway, Building 718; 821 Veterans Parkway, Building 736; and 1221 Enterprise, Building 555.
Properties still on the market: 735 Pacesetter, Hangar 1; 801 Pacesetter, Hangar 2; 909 Pacesetter, Hangar 3; 1011 Pacesetter, Hangar 4; 1 Aviation Center Drive, Building 20; 501 and 505 Condit, Buildings 61 and 62; 601 S. Century, Building 68 (Rantoul Business Center); 906 Eagle, Building 96; 1120 Veterans Parkway, Building 749; and 410 Cuppernell, Building 801.