McHenry County Local News

East Dundee poised to acquire shuttered Haeger Pottery building with hopes to redevelop site

East Dundee trustees this week backed the idea of buying the shuttered Haeger Pottery building on Maiden Lane and a former lumberyard on Railroad Street. They also agreed to use eminent domain if negotiations fail.

East Dundee is taking ownership of the shuttered Haeger Pottery building to try to mold the property’s future.

Trustees on Monday agreed to spend $600,000 to buy the property on Maiden Lane south of Route 72, in the downtown district. The village expects to close on the land deal Dec. 22.

“What this does, by us purchasing (the property), it puts us in control of what goes there,” said Trustee Scott Kunze, who lives near the property. “We will have the final say on what gets built.”

Trustees in September approved the use of eminent domain -- or court-approved purchase of the property -- if negotiations failed. The village did not need to use eminent domain to reach a purchase agreement for the property, which was appraised by the village at $500,000.

In January, the village will issue a request for proposals from developers interested in the property, Village Administrator Erika Storlie said. This month, trustees will discuss what they would like to include in those requests from developers.

Haeger Pottery closed its operations at 7 Maiden Lane in 2016, 145 years after it opened. The 158,000-square-foot building sits on roughly 6½ acres.

Though the area was likely not surrounded by homes when the building was first built, the surrounding area today is residential.

“It is a factory that was built before 95% of the houses were there,” Kunze said. “It is now a factory completely surrounded by residential properties. I don’t think it’s right to continue to allow it to be a manufacturing district. ... It should be residential and maybe some mixed commercial.”

The property is part of a tax increment financing district, where property taxes above a certain level are funneled into development rather than to local governments for a time, usually 23 years. Village officials anticipate TIF funds will be used in a redevelopment project.