Who says you can’t get something for nothing? Or, next to nothing, anyway.
My husband is scoping out an office space for his video production company. Of course, I suggest Downtown Elgin. I wouldn’t be doing my job if I didn’t. But what I saw during our scope out process surprised even me. I wanted to open up a small business just to get the great deals that some of these property owners are offering.
I have heard from many business owners, those with storefronts and those with upper story offices, that they chose Downtown Elgin for the “cheap rent.” Now, “cheap” is a relative term. But how does 500 bucks a month sound?
That’s what my husband found in the Professional Building on Division Street. He’s got his eye on a 600 square foot space on the third floor with two enclosed offices and a lobby. It’s not luxurious, but it is rich with history. It’s got the frosted pane doors and windows reminiscent of a P.I.’s office in a noir film. Think Bogart in The Big Sleep. If you stop in during the week, Mr. Pearson can show you the available spaces. But don’t you dare call him Mr. Parsons, despite what his shirt says. Just a word of advice. That one’s on the house.
If you want breathtaking views that really should cost more than they do (and certainly will someday soon) check out the Elgin Tower Building. Built as a 15-story luxurious bank in 1929, timing was the Tower Building’s foe from the start. The Home National Bank opened in May of 1929, the stock market crashed just a few months later and the Great Depression took what little chance the bank had left to survive.
But today, an investment in the Tower Building can yield great returns. Just check out the offices of architects Roger Muterspaugh or Eric Pepa – both are wonderful examples of modern design in a historic building. Just don’t eat lunch before stepping onto the manually operated elevators. You might lose it.
You can find more amazing deals on private offices in the Commerce Building on the corner of Spring St. and DuPage Ct., as well as a number of smaller buildings scattered throughout downtown. If you’re looking to spend a little more for modern amenities, check out the Burritt Building on South Grove. Certainly Burnidge Cassell Associates would be willing to show off their top floor digs.
If you’re looking for retail or restaurant space, take a walk around downtown and check out the variety of storefronts just waiting to be filled. Some of them need some elbow grease but others only need a little TLC. Most have elements of historic charm, like exposed brick and tin ceilings. In a few years these windows of opportunity will be hard to come by, especially at these prices.
The Downtown Neighborhood Association can help you to find the space you’re looking for in Downtown through our partnerships with the City of Elgin, property owners and managers and real estate agents. Once you’ve decided on Downtown, we’ll call out the welcome wagon and help you settle in to your new neighborhood. And here’s the best part – we do all that for free.
So, I guess you can get something for nothing these days, at least in Downtown Elgin.
3 weeks ago