Ideal Industries donates land for new Sycamore fire station

Ideal rep says donated land part of company’s plans to celebrate 100 years in Sycamore in 2024

Nicole Juday of IDEAL industries told Sycamore City Council the corporation was already looking into ways to give back to the community when, last summer, the city approached the business about donating land for the construction of a new Sycamore Fire Station 1.

SYCAMORE – The cost required to build a new fire station in Sycamore was reduced this week when a local business donated 6 acres of land for the cause.

In 2023, city officials began publicly mulling the future Sycamore Fire Station No. 1., 535 DeKalb Ave., after the six-decade-old boiler heating the building went down three times last winter.

When the City Council voted to hire Oak Brook-based FGM Architects for a preliminary design and concept plan of a new Fire Station 1 in August, City Manager Michael Hall said Ideal Industries Inc., 1375 Park Ave., agreed to donate the land needed for the project.

Ideal Industries’ Nicole Juday on Tuesday said the city approached the business about acquiring some of its land in the Prairie Business Park.

“When the city approached Ideal last year in 2023 about the potential acquisition of a piece of land that was owned by Ideal and on the Prairie Business campus, it was at a time that we were already having conversations internally about a project that we could undertake that would commemorate Ideal’s 100th anniversary in the city of Sycamore, which is this year in 2024,” Juday said.

In 1929, the Sycamore-based business said it began producing wire connectors and has made products that have contributed to people’s ability to reach the moon and South Pole.

Juday said Ideal also hopes to reimagine an existing retaining pond at the corner of Borden Road and Prairie Drive. The business proposal – which will have to be approved by the city engineer – envisions a 10-foot-wide walking and bike path surrounded by an ecological landscape of native plants and trees around the pond.

“It seemed fitting and it seemed timely, and it seemed like a great way for Ideal to demonstrate its commitment to Sycamore, and also its appreciation to this community,” Juday said. “Not many companies make it 100 years.

“We’re very pleased. I’m really pleased to be here today and to represent the company in the conveyance of this land from Ideal to the city – and for a purpose that is only going to improve the well-being and the safety of the residents of Sycamore.”

Ted Strack, the Sycamore Park District board’s representative on the Sycamore Planning and Zoning Commission, publicly criticized the idea of building a new fire station in front of a large group of residents he said he spoke on behalf of during a City Council meeting in November.

However, Bill Davey, chair of the Sycamore Planning and Zoning Commission, spoke in support of the proposal Tuesday and said he was happy to see the land donated.

“[The donated land] is much needed, much appreciated,” Davey said. “It’s a perfect location, and since I’m here, I wanted to say that, too. You might hear the contrary from other people, but it is very much needed, and it’s a great place for it.”

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