City seeing interest in downtown building

ROCHELLE — City leaders in Rochelle are still looking for a buyer of a city-owned downtown building after a developer pulled out of a purchase agreement on Monday night, but there is interest from local business people.

During Monday’s special city council meeting, Dave Diamond, of Walter Wayne Development, LLC confirmed he no longer wishes to purchase the property located at 413 W. Fourth Ave., which is commonly known as the Graber 1 building at the northeast corner of Lincoln Highway and Fourth Ave.

Last summer, Diamond approached city officials requesting an option to purchase and redevelop the property, indicating there had been interest from Storybook Gardens’ owner Jana Gruben to expand her wedding business to the building.

City manager Jeff Fiegenschuh said Diamond had a contract in place, with a closing date of Dec. 31, 2017, and after an extension had been granted he was given until Feb. 1 to buy the property.

“Last week Mr. Diamond informed me he is no longer interested in the building... but I do know there are other interested parties in this facility,” Fiegenschuh confirmed.

Gruben acknowledged on Tuesday she is still looking at the corner building for a possible business expansion.

“I am still very much interested in taking my particular project downtown and have full intentions of moving forward,” Gruben said. “My plans are to bring a 300-person wedding venue, space for a private rental, a 12 to 14-room boutique hotel and at the same time offer a day lounge open to the public seven days a week.”



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