Village Board Approves Sale of Property to Deja Brew
The owners of a popular bar and restaurant want to purchase a rundown, village-owned building adjacent to theirs so they can expand.
It was déjà brew all over again when Oak Lawn Village Board approved a sale of a village-owned rundown property so that a popular bar and restaurant can expand during Tuesday’s board meeting.
Village board members unanimously approved the sale of a building at 5215 W. 95th St. to the owners of Deja Brew Bar and Grill for $150,000, the exact price that the village paid in 1998 when it purchased the property for redevelopment in the Triangle TIF District.
Trustee Bob Streit (Dist. 3) said the village has probably lost at least $15,000 in annual property tax revenue since the property was taken off the tax rolls.
The building is boarded up and has no bathroom, heating or air-conditioning, and the electrical system is also shot. Streit doubted if the building met the village’s building code because of other structural problems.
“The owners are willing to make an investment in our community, which is going to put the property back on the tax rolls, increase sales tax revenue and create jobs,” Streit said. “Undoubtedly this is the highest and best use of the property and the chance to provide a very successful existing business the opportunity to grow and expand.”
Dottie and Luke Rudich, owners of Deja Brew Bar and Grill, are willing to buy the building as is. They plan to invest up to $800,000 after the purchase price to bring the building up to code so they can expand their bar and restaurant.
The Rudichs had an appraisal done that valued the property at $110,000 and came to the village with a sales contract. A second bank appraisal valued the property at $200,000. The prospective buyers came back with a counter offer of $150,000.
“They’re not asking the village for a tax incentive program or a sales tax rebate,” Streit said. “They’re not asking the village to give them the property which we see in many of the business proposals that come before us these days.”
“I suppose we could hold out and see if we could get another cell phone store or a mattress store or maybe a cash-for-gold store at that facility after we (the village) fix it up,” Streit added.
Trustee Tom Phelan (Dist. 6) wanted to note for the record, that both appraisals were flawed. One placed the age of the building at 37, the second at 60. There were also discrepancies in the square footage of about 100 square feet.
Phelan took issue with Village Manager Larry Deetjen’s statement that the inaccuracies in both appraisals were “inconsequential.”
"I just don't want to see us fall into a trap a year from now," he said.
Phelan, along with the rest of the village board, approved the sale of the property to the Rudichs for $150,000.