Sycamore city amends rent rates for city center nonprofit use

Sycamore City Hall in Sycamore, IL on Thursday, May 13, 2021.

SYCAMORE – In an effort to encourage nonprofit organizations to rent open space in downtown Sycamore’s City Center, Sycamore City Council this week amended the rent rate to $300 per month.

The rate will be for nonprofits only, and available for space on the center’s third floor at 308 W. State St.

According to city documents, Habitat for Humanity of DeKalb County is in the process of selling its existing building at 1625 DeKalb Avenue and hopes to rent the remaining third floor space in the City Center as early as July 15. CASA DeKalb County already occupies half of the center’s third floor, Sycamore City Manager Michael Hall said.

“Often, we look for tenets to come into this building, the idea came up instead of doing business and competing with other lease agreements in the other buildings around here, we thought we would try to do more [nonprofits],” Hall said during Monday’s city council meeting.

Hall said nonprofits would be limited to lease top floor space at $300 per month, with stipulations of cost-sharing were significant amounts of maintenance needed in the space.

When asked whether a nonprofit tenant could pursue individual improvements to a rented third floor space, Hall said that as part of the lease agreement, the organization would pay for desired individual rehabilitation themselves.

“We are just looking for approval of the new rate,” Hall told Sycamore alderpersons this week. “And if you want to add on that stipulation where if there’s a major project, we would look at sharing the cost with them and or any other things you wanted to add on there, we can add to the lease.”

Hall said he reached out to the community back in March to invite area nonprofits to lease space in the center if wanted. The monthly nonprofit rent rate was calculated with aid from Sycamore’s finance department.

“We calculated about $300 a month for nonprofit, that’s how much utilities would cost for taking up that space,” said Hall.

A for-profit business is also located on the first floor but the rate change would not apply for them, city officials said. According to city documents, current and future for-profit tenants of the City Center will be charged rent in alignment with market commercial rates.

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