Elks Club Sold for $10, Renovations on Way

Elks Club, Aurora

A Milwaukee-based real estate developer is set to go ahead with a $2.3 million adaptive re-use of the former Elks Club building at Stolp Avenue and Benton Street downtown here.
The City Council recently gave final approval to the development deal between the city of Aurora and Karademas Management, based in Milwaukee, and owned by David Karademas.
The city is selling the building to Karademas for $10. As part of the development agreement, Karademas will put $2.3 million into the adaptive re-use of the building, preserving the Mayan-style architectural that has the building on the National Register of Historic Places, renovating between 25 and 29 apartment units inside the building, and adding in a 4,000-square-foot restaurant that will include an outside patio facing the floating stones along Benton Street.
The agreement gives Karademas 450 days to complete the renovation. Karademas will deposit $500,000 up front, which the city will keep if the developer fails to complete the work within that timeline.
The agreement also includes eventual renovation of two other buildings Karademas has purchased in the past year, Fox Island Place (the former Leland Towers) at Stolp and Galena Boulevard, and the Graham Building, 33 S. Stolp Ave.
In total, Karademas will invest a total of $12.4 million into the entire project. The city will rebate Karademas about $1.2 million in taxes from the downtown tax increment financing. City officials have estimated the re-development will generate about $75,000 in property taxes a year.
Karademas has already done substantial work rehabbing the former Leland Towers building, and eventually will put in a combination coffee house and convenience store in the lobby.
David Hulseberg, chief executive officer of the Seize the Future, a non-profit redevelopment arm of the city, reiterated this week to aldermen that his organization’s board voted to recommend the development and the agreement with Karademas.
“It keeps an historic building, and will provide a new restaurant downtown,” he said.

Courtesy of the Beacon-News. Photo courtesy of Samantha Oulavong.