New Jersey businessman Mark Hoffman got an earful when he showed up to the latest City Council meeting.
Hoffman is the Vice President of Real Estate for a division of Garden Homes, the company that owns the vacant building along Jefferson and Ogden Avenues.
Through a request from Mayor Chirico, he came to the meeting to explain why the 85,000 square foot space has been vacant for about ten years.
“This asset and where it’s positioned in Naperville is somewhat of a ‘b-retail location.’ While I don’t believe there is any bad property in Naperville, it’s probably on the less desirable side for retail where the Route 59 corridor is where most people want to be,” said Hoffman.
The building was previously a K-Mart in 1982, then a Menards in 2001 for a few years before they moved out. Despite Hoffman’s efforts to find a new tenant, council members aren’t happy about the current situation.
“I can’t even imagine what that building will look like after being vacant for 18 years. The parking lot is a mess, it’s the single biggest eyesore in the city of Naperville, and it’s right down the street from me,” said Councilman Kevin Gallaher.
Other Council members suggested dividing up the space to make it more desirable to other businesses, while Mayor Chirico offered his support to find a solution.
“If we have to get creative and think outside the box to find a business that will be successful in there and fits well into Naperville, we are willing to do that,” said Chirico.
Hoffman was open to the ideas and agreed to keep the Council updated as any new plans develop.
Naperville News 17’s Alyssa Bochenek reports.
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