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updated: 12/7/2022 1:23 PM

Exterior work on downtown Huntley old fire station to be delayed by up to five months

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  • The former Fire Station 1 of the Huntley Fire Protection District at 11808 Coral St. in Huntley shown in a March file photo. Development plans call for three stories to be added to the building, as well as renovations to prepare it for mixed use, including a restaurant on the first floor and residential on the upper floors.

    The former Fire Station 1 of the Huntley Fire Protection District at 11808 Coral St. in Huntley shown in a March file photo. Development plans call for three stories to be added to the building, as well as renovations to prepare it for mixed use, including a restaurant on the first floor and residential on the upper floors.
    Gregory Shaver/Shaw Local News Network, March 2022

  • A rendering of the new renovations of the former Fire Station 1, originally occupied by the Huntley Fire Protection District.

    A rendering of the new renovations of the former Fire Station 1, originally occupied by the Huntley Fire Protection District.
    Courtesy of the village of Huntley

 
 

A project to convert part of an old fire station in downtown Huntley into apartments and a restaurant will be delayed, with the developers possibly taking on penalties if they don't meet the new schedule.

Some Huntley trustees and the village president were not happy when the developers, Coral Street Firehouse LLC, requested five extra months to complete the shell of the building.

Last week trustees agreed to the extension, which moved the completion date for the exterior from the end of this year to the end of May. But the developers will be retroactively fined if they miss that deadline. The fine will be $100 per day, village material states.

Despite the delay, project representatives said the full completion of the building still is expected to happen by June 30 of next year. The delay only affects the exterior of the building.

The building shell was supposed to be finished by the end of 2022. But because of design issues, Coral Street Firehouse asked for a deadline through the end of March, board documents show.

But during a Dec. 1 village board meeting, representatives with the development asked that the deadline be extended to May after realizing earlier in the day weather might be a persistent issue.

"I'm just extremely disappointed ... that we're finding out about it [now]," Village President Timothy Hoeft said at the meeting. "We've got a relationship. I don't know why the phone wasn't picked up. That's extremely frustrating."

John Curtis, a representative for the project, said the delay stems from winter weather now becoming a concern. He said temperatures need to be at least 28 degrees in the morning and rise from there to do brick work.

The weather means exterior work on the building, which was torn down and needed to be rebuilt, must wait until spring, Curtis said. From there it would take another 30 to 45 days to finish.

Trustee Curt Kittel asked if something could be done to help deal with the elements. Curtis said they looked into tenting the building, which would cost between $80,000 and $100,000.

While exterior work will be delayed, interior construction will continue, meaning the development should still be completed by June 30. Officials with the development stressed they would not need an extension for that date.

Trustee Ronda Goldman, the lone vote against the extension, said she didn't have a problem with giving them more time. She voted against it because of the possible fine levied against the developer, which she didn't want.

"I don't have a problem with it. It's the reality of life," Goldman said. "I know you'll thrive."

Trustee Mary Holzkopf said she was "shocked" by the extension request, saying if completion is not done by June 30, she would not vote to extend their allotted time. At that point she would opt for fines.

"I'm kind of a stickler with dates, and I have to really tell myself to give grace to people with that because life does happen," she said.

If the new May deadline is not met, the developer will be charged for every day dating back to March 31, meaning they could see two months worth of daily penalties to start.

The plan to transform an old fire station in downtown Huntley calls for a restaurant on the first floor and 18 apartment units on the floors above.

When the developer took on the project, it came with a number of requirements, including that the company invest at least $5 million into the site.

In May the village approved a request to demolish the original building because keeping the building rather than rebuilding would have been more "cost-prohibitive," Hoeft said earlier this year. The new building will be identical to the old.