La Salle Business Association may facilitate meeting between CL Real Estate, downtown businesses

Future growth of the downtown to be discussed, but agenda not set

Workers from ADB Companies install 5G on top of a cellular tower at the corner of Canal and Joliet Streets on Monday, Dec. 19, 2022 downtown La Salle.

CL Real Estate Development recently requested the assistance of the La Salle Business Association to facilitate a meeting between downtown businesses.

LBA President Christopher L. Duncan said in an email that he spoke last week with LBA member CL Real Estate Development about the possibility of arranging a meeting, and the LBA started reaching out to businesses late last week to gauge interest.

“We are just in the very preliminary stages of assessing interest from downtown businesses regarding the meeting,” he said. “We have no definitive plan for time, location or agenda.”

The La Salle City Council recently voted to move to terminate an economic development agreement with the company over the construction of a downtown brewpub and apartments because of disappointment in the progress of the project.

Duncan said it was his personal request to CL to host the meeting privately in the hopes of offering the business owners the ability to speak to one another without the added pressures of their thoughts and ideas being made public. The LBA is a private organization composed of local businesses, of which CL Real Estate is a member group. The LBA is not affiliated with the city of La Salle. Its meetings are not subject to the Open Meetings Act.

CL CEO Hinesh Patel said in an email that an agenda had not been set, and his company hopes that such a meeting would take place in a few months. CL wanted to be part of a larger meeting to be good neighbors and support the city’s growth and business community, Patel said.

“It’s just an idea at this point,” he said, “for business owners in La Salle to discuss more and better ways to develop and grow the economy in La Salle, generate more jobs, bring more visitors to the city and especially build more modern living spaces in the downtown area.”

After the initial announcement, the renovation of the Maytag building at 801-805 First St. in downtown La Salle was proposed as a $4.5 million, 13,000-square-foot redevelopment project to create the Rocket Brewpub.

Duncan said that the hope for the meeting is to have a roundtable discussion with business/building owners in downtown La Salle about how to work together to help the city further develop, enhance and grow the downtown business district and even how businesses can play a role in attracting new residents.

He said although the LBA expects that an update on the Maytag project would be part of the discussion, the goal is to discuss the future and development of downtown.

“The meeting will hopefully lead to bigger-picture discussions of the role of all downtown businesses and the LBA in helping the city’s downtown business district grow and prosper,” he said.

Duncan said he is hopeful the meeting will lead to more communication and collaboration among the business owners and the LBA, in an effort to better address the needs of members and nonmembers while finding new and innovative ways to attract visitors and businesses to downtown La Salle.

“We feel this type of discussion aligns well with our mission as a business association, so we are hopeful we can help facilitate the discussion,” Duncan said.

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