LAKE IN THE HILLS – After months of having vacant village-owned horse stables, a new tenant will run an equestrian center on the property.
Jennifer Valenti, president of Dynasty Farm Inc., plans to move into the horse stable property on Pyott Road.
Equestrian businesses had operated at the facility from 2002 until February of last year.
The village has leased part of the barn on the property to the Algonquin/Lake in the Hills Interfaith Food Pantry.
Finding a tenant to run an equestrian-related business had been difficult, as the horse industry is a niche market that requires disposable income.
For many months, the village had tried to find someone to come in and lease the property.
“We have been diligently trying to find a successor tenant to take over the property,” Village Administrator Gerald Sagona said. “The fall and first part of winter was slow, until Ms. Valenti appeared.”
The Village Board had considered delaying a vote on Valenti’s lease agreement because there had been another interested potential tenant. However, on Thursday, that person backed out of pursuing the property, Sagona said.
Valenti, who lives in Carpentersville, will lease 9.5 acres of the property at 1109 Pyott Road and all of the primary buildings on the property, with the exception of the main barn.
The two-year lease, which the Village Board approved Thursday, begins Feb. 1.
For the first three months, rent will be free. From May through September, rent will be $1,000 a month. From October through January 2014, rent will be $1,500 a month.
Rent for the second year of the lease will be $2,000 a month.
Valenti and her daughter have been involved with horses for their entire lives. Valenti has worked as a barn manager of a breeding facility in the past and always wanted to start her own facility.
“With the state of the economy, trying to start a horse boarding facility from scratch nowadays would [cost] millions and millions of dollars,” Valenti said.
She called the chance to rent the facility a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
Valenti hopes to offer riding lessons and therapeutic riding and to host Scouts so they could earn merit badges. She hopes to have monthly horse shows.
In exchange for the reductions in rent, Valenti has agreed to make repairs and improvements to the stalls within the facility, including repairing stall walls, buying new automatic waterers, replacing or repairing stall doors, adding limestone fill to the floors, and covering floors with rubber horse stall mats.
Valenti plans to convert the 57 9-foot-by-9 stalls into 35 9-foot-by-13 stalls.
Work on the facility is expected to cost between $50,000 and $100,000, Valenti said.
She plans to rent stalls for $500 a month, and that will help pay for hay, shavings and other labor to take care of the horses.
Valenti said she hopes to renovate 10 stalls, and get those rented out before renovating an additional 10 stalls, and “go real slow.” Valenti hopes to have 35 horses boarded there within a year.
She said she plans to live on site and clean the stalls herself.
“My goal is not be a millionaire, ... [but] I’m willing to make this a wonderful facility,” Valenti said.