Elgin May Buy NBD Site for Parking

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Byline: Brad Hahn Daily Herald Staff Writer

A majority of the Elgin City Council is prepared to next week buy the vacant NBD bank building, and then possibly tear it down.

If the city makes an offer as expected Monday afternoon, the bank's downtown lot would be used to relieve a recent parking space crunch.

What would happen to the building itself has not been decided, but several council members are interested in demolition.

"The value is in the property, not the building," Councilman Ed Schock said.

Schock and at least three other council members believe the parking alone is worth the $250,000 the city is willing to pay for the land.

Downtown merchants complained late last month about the lack of places for employees to park.

Picking up the building for the same price allows the city to ensure a desirable business at the corner of South Grove and East Chicago Streets.

"We're buying the parking lot and we're getting the building," Schock said. "It's like somebody saying 'I'll sell you my garage and throw the house in.' "

Council members last week deferred a vote on purchase and asked city staff to investigate the cost of demolition.

Estimates returned show tearing down the building would cost about $125,000. There also is an expense for asbestos removal which hasn't been determined. …