Diane Moca: Welcome to Talking Cities Aurora I'm Diane Moca and these are the headlines in our city this week. Two new watering holes have opened in downtown Aurora thanks to funding from the city. Craft Urban restaurant, at the corner of Downer and Stolp, began serving food and drinks about a week ago, with many diners enjoying the new outdoor patio. City council approved a finish line grant of $100,000 as part of a 10 year forgivable loan redevelopment agreement that would cover 10% of the cost to remodel the building based on the $900,000 construction costs listed in the grant application. Previous reports indicated the city loaned the owner $690,000 to be paid back over 10 years in installments of about $6,400 a month, which would mean about a 2% interest rate for an amortized loan. The agreement included owner Bernie Laskowski investing $150,000 to purchase the property.
Wyckwood House is now offering a new sip and shop experience. This summer, the boutique store moved to a new location at the corner of Benton and River, about three times larger to make room for a new cocktail bar featuring original craft drinks. City council approved a finish line grant of $71,000 for the retail shop. That's about 30% of the project's costs according to city records that show owner Shannon Gutierrez spent $245,000 to remodel the building.
The two finish line grants for Craft Urban and Wyckwood House are not part of Invest Aurora, a nonprofit that coordinates with the city to spend public funds on private projects. Those grants came from the city's Economic Development office, which reportedly has a $750,000 budget. Invest Aurora has a $760,000 budget according to IRS filings in 2019, which showed about $350,000 in salaries. Their website lists four staffers employed to fulfill the organization's duties to collect data, contact businesses and market the city to developers. This year, the city signed a new five year deal with Invest Aurora.
The plan to build 140 apartments and 20 townhouses on three acres south of North River Street Park is behind schedule. City council approved pushing back the projected date to break ground to August of next year. Windfall Group expects the project to cost $54 million. Previous reports indicate the city plans to donate the land, worth about $1.6 million, and contribute another $6.6 million to the development.
From Talking Cities Aurora, I'm Diane Moca, and those are the week's trending topics.
City of Aurora Contributes $171,000 in Public Funds to New Restaurant and Retail Shop
The City of Aurora is spending public funds to bring private business to its downtown, including $171,000 given to the owners of Craft Urban restaurant and Wyckwood House boutique. The City also has a five-year deal with Invest Aurora to spend more than $700,000 to boost its economy, with about half of that going to salaries at the nonprofit.
Craft Urban Grant Award
Wyckwood House Remodel Budget
Invest Aurora IRS Filing
Invest Aurora Deal wih City
Amended Timeline Redlined
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