Libertyville looks to sell Bolander building
Updated: August 6, 2012 6:13AM
LIBERTYVILLE -- One of Libertyville’s Parks and Recreation buildings is going on the auction block.
Libertyville trustees have authorized the sale of the Bolander building and property on Winchester Road and are looking for interested buyers.
“We’ve been looking at this for two years because there are only a handful of staff that work out of that space,” said Drew Cullum, chairman of the Village Board’s Parks and Recreation Committee. “The building itself is underutilized.”
The village acquired the 5.3-acre Bolander property in 1997 for about $1.4 million and the building on the site has served as park administrative offices for many years. However, since the Libertyville Sports Complex was built in the early 2000s, the need for the Bolander building has gradually diminished and most of the recreation staff now works at the sports complex.
Only four of the village’s 10 full-time recreation staff still work at the Bolander building, and the remaining staff could be easily transferred to the sports complex in the event of a sale, according to Connie Kowal, director of recreation and the sports complex for Libertyville.
Kowal said there are also a few dance classes in the building and other park programs that operate at the Bolander site, all of which could be moved to the sports complex.
Cullum added the Bolander building is aging and in need of “significant upgrades,” including a new roof. At one time, many people used the Bolander building to sign up for park programs but now most people register for programs on-line. If Bolander was sold, people would still be able to register for programs in person at the Village Hall or the sports complex, he said.
Kowal said there is a small field on the west end of the Bolander property, which is used primarily as practice space for youth sports such as lacrosse, youth football and soccer. Kowal said the youth sports organizations who utilize those fields have been notified the property could be sold and have indicated it would not create a problem for them.
The village will also explore its options for the roller/ice skating rink on the property in case of a sale. Kowal said the village will consider whether to relocate the rink to another site or discontinue it.
Kowal said at this point the village has had no offers for the Bolander property and the village’s action is really a first step to gauge potential interest. A real estate appraiser has estimated the cost of the property to be in the $1.8 million to $2 million range.
The property is zoned for multi-family housing residential and has been designated in the village’s comprehensive plan for transit-oriented residential development.
“It would be a pretty prime piece or real estate being so close to the downtown and the train station,” said Kowal.
In other business, the Village Board:
• Approved a request by Start Parking Co. of Chicago to provide valet parking services for four restaurants in the downtown: 545 North, Chili U, Firkin and the Tavern.
Joe Palumbo, co-owner of Start Parking Co., said plans are to begin initially offering valet services on Fridays and Saturday nights, roughly between the hours of 4:30 and 11 p.m. Service could be expanded to other nights depending upon interest, he said. There would be a designated location to drop off and pick up cars behind 545 N. Milwaukee Ave.
As a condition of approval, the valet service would not be able to use the surface parking area behind the businesses for valet parking and would instead have to the use the village parking garage, Lake Street or the Metra lot.
• Approved a labor agreement between Libertyville and the International Union of Operating Engineers Local 150 Public Employees Division.
The four-year contract is the first labor contract between the village and public works maintenance technicians, equipment mechanics and water operators. Under the contract, employees would receive a 1 percent raise for the 2012-2013 fiscal year, a 2 percent raise for fiscal 2013-14, and a 1.5 percent annual raise for the final two years of the contract.