Kennays to build storage building downtown

ROCHELLE — The view along Sixth Street near Fifth Avenue in Rochelle is about to change in the coming months following an approval by Rochelle City Council Monday evening.

Council approved an ordinance amendment for the purchase and redevelopment of city-owned properties located at 417 and 421 N. Sixth Street by Kennay Farms Distilling, LLC.

Doris Kennay explained the intent of Kennay Farms is to redevelop the property into a rickhouse, which is a storage space for whiskey barrels during the aging process. The new facility would be directly behind the Kennay Farm Distillery and Brewery location.

The rickhouse would be about 16,000 square feet that would house 5,000 whiskey barrels and would include three loading dock doors.

Currently the building located at 417 N. Sixth Street houses the city’s community development and engineering offices. About six city employees will be moved temporarily to the Rochelle Municipal Utilities building until a long-term plan is determined.

Following the meeting, City Manager Jeff Fiegenschuh explained city officials have been working with the Kennays for the last two months concerning the project and that they had expressed interest in several Rochelle sites.

“This works best for them. We did an appraisal and they offered $25,000 over the appraised value. This is an awesome project and we are excited for them to be locating the rickhouse in our downtown,” Fiegenschuh said. “This property is located within the downtown TIF so any property taxes that this facility generates will go into the TIF fund and will directly benefit everybody located in the downtown TIF.”

The agreement with Kennay Farms is for the purchase price of $205,000 set to close on July 2, 2018. Kennay Farms will take possession on Aug. 31 at 4:30 p.m.

Construction is set to begin in September.

Doris Kennay indicated during the council meeting that there is a separate signed contract with another owner for the property located at 427 N. Sixth St., at the corner of Fifth Avenue.

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