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Two developers interested in preserving Huntley mill

Published: Friday, Nov. 8, 2013 11:38 p.m. CDT

HUNTLEY – The village received proposals from two undisclosed developers interested in preserving and redeveloping a historical 19th century mill in downtown Huntley.

But Village Manager Dave Johnson said the responses don’t necessarily mean the mill, originally built in the late 1800s, would be redeveloped. The Village Board, he said, will have to decide in the coming weeks on the future direction of the building, which local historians have been clamoring to save.

“No guarantees,” Johnson said. “The board needs to review and take a look at the proposals. There are many different components to what we see in those proposals, so we are still researching and reviewing, and we will ultimately present it to the Village Board in the next couple of weeks.”

The village has explored redeveloping the mill after officials acquired it last year for $115,000 as part of their ongoing effort to revitalize the look of downtown Huntley. A firm earlier this summer determined that the historical structure needed significant work to bring the building up to code.

The village ultimately extended its redevelopment proposal deadline to the end of October, after only a few developers expressed the desire to invest time and money to preserve the mill.

Entering the final week of the extended deadline, the village still had not received a formal proposal, but officials warned at the time that developers typically wait until the last minute to submit ideas.

The mill originally belonged to W.G. Sawyer and John Kelley, two local businessmen who were influential in developing Huntley during the 1800s.

After Huntley acquired the structure, local historians immediately lobbied village officials to preserve it upon hearing rumors that the village had plans to demolish the building.

Members of the Huntley Historic Preservation Commission have since been meeting with village officials to stay updated on the future direction of the mill.

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