Time and again, planning for the redevelopment of Batavia’s One Washington Place business center has been on the brink of failure.
But every time it seemed that the disaffected city aldermen were about to give up, the project was rescued at the very last moment.
It happened again last week.
During a committee meeting on August 17, aldermen threatened to declare Geneva-based Shodeen Construction in breach of the redevelopment agreement if the developer did not receive funding for the project by the end of the week.
Three days later, Shodeen President Dave Patzelt said he had received a letter of commitment from the firm’s bank.
Patzelt said he is currently working with the city’s community development department to create a new timetable for Shodin to submit construction drawings, tender documents and an application for a building permit.
The City of Laura Newman has confirmed that Patzelt has received the loan commitment and that efforts are under way to set a new timetable.
One Washington Place is a $ 50 million mixed-use project that includes a 333-space duplex garage, 186 apartments, 14,180 square feet of commercial space and 2,370 square feet of office space.
The six-level building should cover most of the block bounded by North Washington Avenue, East Wilson, North River, and downtown state streets.
Shodin missed the July 13 deadline to begin filing the required construction documents, which means the company has technically violated the redevelopment agreement with the city.
Batavia’s city council was already split over the project, and even its supporters were frustrated by the endless delays.
At a committee meeting last week, Patzelt told the aldermen that the latest delay was due to rising prices for building materials, as well as uncertainty over supply chain delivery problems caused by the pandemic.
Higher costs for building materials, especially lumber, forced Shodeen to revise its budget and increase the amount of the loan it requested from the bank, Patzelt said.
While successive committees of bank loan officers were weighing the new loan request, Patzelt said he was unwilling to invest the $ 650,000 that the architects would need to prepare detailed construction drawings and tender documents for the project.
However, the bank’s letter of commitment for the $ 30 million loan means the developer can give their architects the go-ahead.
The construction of the building is expected to take two years.
One Washington Place has been in the planning stages for five years. Board votes to promote the project were often 7-7, leaving Mayor Jeff Schilke to save the plan.
After Shodin calculated the cost of the garage, the city increased its commitments to the project by $ 2 million, bringing the total to $ 16 million, but postponing the project for a year.
When completed, the city will own and operate the garage.
The city later discovered that the construction site was contaminated with lead, requiring a lengthy process of agreement with the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency for a plan to clean up the property during excavation, causing another year’s delay.