With a real estate closing last Friday, the former Waubonsee Community College building in downtown Aurora will soon become a regional destination arts center.
Invest Aurora announced this week it has presented a loan to the developer of the Gravity Building on South LaSalle Street downtown to help get the building finished.
The soft-serve ice cream industry is apparently solid.
That’s how it is for at least one soft-serve distributor, Fox Valley Farms, 2619 Beverly Drive in Aurora.
The company is looking to about double the size of its about 25,000-square-foot facility in the Aurora Corporate Center on Beverly Drive, which is off Bilter Road just east of Farnsworth Avenue.
The center is on land created as part of a flood remediation program years ago that also created a protected wetlands right next door to the corporate center.
Dan Walker, co-owner of Fox Valley Farms, recently told aldermen on the Aurora City Council’s Planning and Development Committee that expansion is necessary because business is so good.
“We’re just out of room,” Walker said. “It’s time.”
He said expansion would be on an empty lot right to the north of the current building. In addition to the new facility, the company would add 28 parking spaces. Walker added that the company currently has 35 employees, and would reach 47 with the expansion.
“So you’re expanding because business is good — that’s good,” said Alderman Carl Franco, 5th Ward, a Planning and Development Committee member.
The committee voted 3-0 to recommend a revision to the final plan and send it along to the council’s Committee of the Whole, with a council vote on the issue scheduled for July 25.
Invest Aurora’s Business Spotlight article this week features the newly renovated Holiday Inn Express & Suites in Downtown Aurora, formerly the Comfort Inn Suites. Hotel owner Rocky Pintozzi stated that choosing to renovate and rebrand the hotel did not come lightly, but that he ultimately decided to reinvest in his business in part due to the recent increase in development around the downtown area.
The hotel is located conveniently within walking distance to RiverEdge Park, Paramount Theater, Hollywood Casino, and Two Brother’s Roundhouse, and offers many benefits to a variety of travelers. Rocky said that all these downtown amenities make attracting visitors easy, but also mentioned the advantage of being located so close to the Aurora downtown Metra station. Many guests stay at the hotel and avoid Chicago traffic by taking the 43 minute train ride into the city.
Looking inside the Holiday Inn Express & Suites, one will see that it is effectively a brand new hotel. After six months of construction the entirely renovated establishment has become the newest standard for the Holiday Inn Express & Suites model everywhere. The hotel has revamped everything from the roof to the headboards. It offers 83 rooms, each equipped with a microwave, mini refrigerator, and Keurig coffee machine. For travelers that are looking for even more luxury, the hotel also offers 15 suites that include hot tubs and fireplaces. For families the hotel features new Kids Suites which are complete with bunk beds, a TV, and a Play Station gaming system.
While the hotel caters to a wide range of guests, the newest renovations make it an excellent new option for business travelers. Visitors have access to the board room (seats 16) and the meeting room (seats 48), as well as a 24 hour fitness center, indoor pool, and spa. The Holiday Inn Express & Suites is also taking advantage of Aurora’s Fiber Optic Network. With the convenient placement of electrical plugs and connection to the network, Holiday Inn guests have access to high speed internet throughout the hotel for all their devices and needs.
Ideally located and completely reinvented, the Holiday Inn Express & Suites is an exciting new option for Aurora and Chicagoland visitors.
Holiday Inn Express & Suites Aurora – Naperville, Illinois
111 N. Broadway | Aurora, IL 60505
(866) 896-2888 | (630) 896-2800 | FAX (630) 896-2887
Winter is finally over! Time to tune-up those bikes and hit the trails. This week Invest Aurora visited with an Aurora business that can help. All Spoked Up is a community bike shop located in downtown Aurora and they know cycling. The staff is involved in all facets of the sport from advocacy to racing. As a community focused shop they accommodate for all visitors whether you’re looking to purchase your child’s first bike or training for a triathlon. In visiting the shop you’ll find a wide range of kids, cruisers, road, mountain, fixed gear, and BMX bicycles from trusted brands. Also, for those who already have a bike, All Spoked Up offers affordable tune ups and speedy repairs.
All Spoked Up recently expanded into a new space, not far from their previous site. They are now located just a few storefronts west on Downer PL, next door to Metropolitan Co-working. Now with more square footage, the store manager, Pete Cleary, says the new space will allow them to stock more bikes and add another bike repair stand. The additional stand will help staff repair and return bikes faster thus getting their clients back on the trails ASAP. The previous storefront will be utilized by AKA dance, who will expand from their current space next door.
Cleary also discussed his excitement about the increased activity in the downtown. In the past few years, he has seen more people walking around and more businesses popping up. Cleary is hopeful that this momentum will keep pushing downtown Aurora forward. Cleary also pointed out Aurora’s vast bike trail network as a major asset for the business and the community. In January 2017, Aurora was named a Bicycle Friendly Community by the League of American Bicyclist. Fortuitously, All Spoked Up is located right off the Fox River Trail which stretches 43 miles and connects with many other trails throughout the city.
All Spoked Up will be having a Grand Opening event sponsored by the Aurora Regional Chamber of Commerce on Friday, May 5th 3:30 PM. Stop by All Spoked Up’s location at 14 West Downer Pl Aurora IL, 60506 for all your cycling needs. Mention this article and receive a 10% discount on a tune up service. For more information on All Spoked Up visit their website at http://www.allspokedup.com/
or call 630.801.9005.
Invest Aurora would like to welcome a new business to the Aurora community. This January Extend Your Styles Boutique opened their doors in Aurora’s Route 59 corridors. The new upscale hair extension boutique specializes in providing a unique selection of 100% Virgin Hair Extensions from the best distributors around the world. Extend Your Styles mission is to help their clients achieve the look they desire, through services and products that enhance and magnify the beauty and style their clients already possess.
The Aurora retail location keeps a large supply of the luxurious hair in stock, which benefits clients that want to get a closer look and feel of the hair before they invest. Extend Your Styles staff highly values customer service and will assist their clients in choosing the right hair for them. Clients can also visit the Extend Your Styles website, www.extendyourstyles.com, which makes it possible to explore the various collections and shop from the comfort of their homes.
Sheena Baker, Extend Your Styles Boutique Founder and President of Women’s Council of Realtors West Suburban, moved to Aurora at the age of 19 and decided to make it her home sighting the areas affordability and diversity as a deciding factor. She thought Aurora’s Route 59 corridor was perfect to open her upscale hair extensions boutique given the area already has a large retail market. The area is already home to many restaurants, retail outlets, and the Fox Valley Mall making it a destination to draw shoppers from Aurora, Naperville and beyond.
Extend Your Styles Boutique
4151 McCoy Dr.
Aurora, IL 60504
Be sure to check out the Women’s Expo, hosted by Extend Your Styles on April 29th, 2017.
Salvatore Arenella looked around the third floor of his downtown Aurora building at 30 N. Broadway and said he hopes to energy from the past will help inspire its future.
“This third floor was a dance floor once,” Arenella said Monday, smiling and taking a short dance step himself.
His buoyant spirit was due to the fact that he is now able to remodel the old, three-story building into two apartments and a first-floor store space. It’s thanks to a new revolving loan fund put together by a partnership of Invest Aurora, the city’s nonprofit redevelopment corporation; the Dunham Fund, a private foundation; and three local banks.
Officials held a press conference Monday to announce the fund’s formation and Arenella’s building as the first beneficiary.
The fund is designed to provide loan money to owners of older downtown buildings who have been unable to get traditional financing to do remodeling or renovation work.
In many cases, the owners cannot secure money because the cost of remodeling an old building is higher than its value. The revolving loan fund is designed to counter that financial quandary by offering loans at a low-interest rate, with no repayment required for nine months – allowing time for renovations to be done and the owners to find tenants.
In the case of Arenella, who bought 30 N. Broadway in 2012, he was unable to get traditional financing.
“And now it’s 2017, and the building is vacant,” he said.
According to David Hulseberg, Invest Aurora chief executive officer, the new fund will loan Arenella $235,000 for his renovations, which will be interest and payment free for nine months. At that point, a low interest rate will be added, and Arenella will begin paying the money back into the revolving fund, Hulseberg said.
“Basically, I don’t have to pay until the renovation is done, until I have a tenant,” Arenella said.
The Dunham Fund is endowing the revolving fund with $250,000 retroactive to last year, $500,000 this year, and $250,000 in 2018. Three local banks – First Midwest Bank, Old Second National Bank and Aurora Bank & Trust – will each add in $15,000. With the city of Aurora’s contribution, the total amount available will be $1.2 million.
“By providing access to economic opportunity, the (fund) allows building owners to create lease-ready spaces in the downtown that will increase business activity, bring additional jobs and revitalize our community,” said Stewart Beach, a Dunham Fund board member.
Hulseberg called the 30 N. Broadway building “a perfect example of a building with good bones” that will increase in value with the renovations. Arenella will have a two-bedroom apartment on the third floor, another apartment on the second floor – both bringing in revenue for him – and a 1,400-square-foot business space on the first floor that once housed Ziegler Music.
In addition to the money, the local banks, as well as the Waubonsee Community College small business development center and the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Women’s Business Development Center will collaborate to provide business plan help for property owners, Hulseberg said.
Invest Aurora estimates that if vacancies are reduced by one-half during the next three years, it will result in 43 new commercial spaces and 130 new jobs, he said.
The fund is looking at deals on LaSalle Street, and the owner of a building on Lake Street is considering applying for a loan, Hulseberg said.