A century-old Schaumburg building that most recently housed the Easy Street Pub from 1979 until it closed in May may receive up to $250,000 in village assistance to rehabilitate it for a potential new tenant.
"We've been clear with the owners that we would like to see a restaurant there," Village Manager Brian Townsend said of the 6,400-square-foot building south of Lou Malnati's Pizzeria on the southeast corner of Schaumburg and Roselle roads.
Members of an investment group affiliated with Lou Malnati's who bought the building say they share the same desire.
Having bought the property for $500,000 in May, they are committed to $721,000 in improvements to it.
The historic significance of the building and its continuing contribution to the Olde Schaumburg Centre district around it are the reasons village officials want to help the private investors breathe new life into it.
Schaumburg's Economic Development Manager Matt Frank said it is the only true commercial building remaining from that period. Most of the other structures, including Lou Malnati's, are converted houses or barns.
The building began its life as Charlie Krueger's Inn and Boarding House, which served the workers who first paved Schaumburg Road in the 1910s. It then operated as Lengel's Tavern for 45 years until gutted by a fire in 1976.
Jerry Trofholz bought the building from Johanna Lengel in 1978 and made it the Easy Street Pub until his family closed it last May, a year and a half after his death.
The village is promising the new investors a $150,000 reimbursement of their costs upon completion of the building work, and then another $100,000 if the tenant is to officials' liking.
That will help provide leverage to get a restaurant there, Frank said.
The investors' goal is to have a tenant in operation by March 31.
Though they said building's design favors a single user, there's a possibility that a second, smaller tenant could occupy the upper level and help generate more rent.
The financial agreement, to be voted on by the village board Jan. 9, would also make the village the owner of the building's parking lot. The plan is for an association of the corner's property owners -- including Lou Malnati's, Alexian Healthcare, the village and others -- to interconnect the parking facilities behind their businesses.