Car lot coming to vacant Pesotum property

Car lot coming to vacant Pesotum property

PESOTUM — After years of being vacant, a village-owned property near the interchange of Interstate 57 and U.S. 45 is being purchased.

Highway Wholesale LLC of Tuscola submitted a bid of $20,000, the appraised value, for the property at 911 S. Chestnut St. The village countered by asking that Highway Wholesale also pay closing costs, which the bidder accepted.

There is a lien on the commercially zoned property based on attorney fees and costs incurred, according to Village Attorney Elizabeth Megli. Megli said an Aug. 15 deadline has been set for closing and that there is no financing contingency.

"It's a cash deal," she said.

Village President Cheryl Smitley said Highway Wholesale plans to open a high-end used car lot on the property.

"We're excited about it because of the revenue," Smitley said.

The property had been targeted for the development of a motel, storage units or a convenience store.

A judge entered a demolition order on the buildings remaining on the property in 2007. Two years later, the village paid T Q Demolition & Excavating of Mattoon $11,750 for demolition.

With the help of a $7.4 million U.S. Environmental Protection Agency grant, in 2010, soil and groundwater contamination was cleaned up at the site, where there had been a gas station pump island and an underground storage tank. The same year, the Tuscola City Council decided to release the property, which the city took a mortgage on as security for former owner and Tuscola resident Norman Lee's tax increment financing loan, on the condition that Pesotum was able to take possession of it. Last year the property was surveyed, and boundaries were marked.

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