Developer purchases Old Huntley Village Hall to build upscale restaurant

By Gregory Harutunian for Chronicle Media

Wauconda-based True North Properties, Inc., purchased the old Huntley Village Hall to build an upscale restaurant. (Photo courtesy of the Village of Huntley)

The Huntley Village Board approved three considerations that will eventually convert the former village hall into an upscale 217-seat restaurant, during its Feb. 8 meeting. Wauconda-based True North Properties, Inc. received the go-ahead for a redevelopment agreement with the village.

It includes a special-use permit for parking, along with a preliminary and final planned unit development designation. The board action also executed an agreement for the sale of the building for a nominal $10 purchase price.

The former hall, located at 11704 Coral Street, had been previously used by the Huntley Area Chamber of Commerce. The chamber group has now moved to another site at the Union Special Building.

The two-story structure would house a restaurant, while the back area with a one-story level roof and garage will be demolished. A one-story addition will be built where public bathrooms would also be installed.

The former hall, located at 11704 Coral Street, had been previously used by the Huntley Area Chamber of Commerce. (Huntley Area Chamber of Commerce photo)

“The community is excited, as there will be more eating establishments,” said Sarah Palaszewski, the village’s communications and compliance manager. “They are maintaining the facade for historical purposes, and it is a mix of the old and new. I have not heard any negative feedback on this project.”

Input on design renderings and the final approval was part of the board’s purview, with discussions on the project in April and September of last year. Several elements of the plans changed during that span. Awnings will be added for appearance and conformity.

Café Roma, based in Elgin, had indicated in November that they would be opening in the new development.

Incentives for the new development are tabbed to come from a tax-increment financing district that was created and encompasses the building site. A TIF district effectively freezes the assessed valuation rate of a designated property, according to the Illinois Department of Revenue. Any monies collected above the frozen rate are placed into a fund for use on infrastructure. True North Properties will have access to the full incremental property tax monies for five years, following the end of construction.

A reimbursement, up to $150,000 for building the establishment, and a yearly sum of $50,000 for five years, after building completion, on TIF-related expenditures.

The redevelopment agreement stipulates that actual construction must start 30 days after the sale is transacted.

The village is also seeking major completion by Sept. 30, 2025, or True North Properties will be assessed $100 each day beyond that date.

The Wauconda firm opened the Cornell Luxury Apartments last fall, in the former Catty Building. It has two stories with 38 units.