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ELGIN, IL-City officials will be issuing a request for proposals this summer, seeking developers’ ideas for a two-acre site that includes the former 70,000-sf Gail Borden Library. A mixed-use development, likely to include ground-floor retail space or offices with multifamily units on the upper floors, is the goal.

“I think the views, with residential, would be great with the river,” Mayor Ed Schock says. “We do believe there’d be a lot of interest.”

Retail uses could include a restaurant giving diners a view of the Fox River.

City Manager David Dorgan says a handful of developers already have inquired about the riverfront property. City officials will weigh two options—an outright sale of the property, or a land-lease. The property is located on the south side of Kimball Street between the river and Grove Avenue, near the Hemmens Cultural Center, city hall and police station, as well as the new $28-million library across Kimball Street at 270 N. Grove Ave.

“It’s an area that falls within the municipal campus,” says Councilman Tom Sandor, who floated the land-lease plan. “If we carve that out, what are we doing? I don’t know that in the future, selling off that property is the right thing to do.”

Councilwoman Brenda Rogers notes the First Card office complex on the northwest side of the city is built on land leased to Bank One for 99 years.

Meanwhile, a former Goodyear Tire store at the northeast corner of Douglas Avenue and Symphony Court is likely a long-term development possibility. Sandor says a request for proposals would likely yield a small project unless adjoining parcels could be assembled.

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