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City to buy former Aurora Christian site

The former AurorChristian School site GalenBoulevard. | Sun-Times Medifile photo

The former Aurora Christian School site on Galena Boulevard. | Sun-Times Media file photo

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Updated: August 16, 2013 6:21AM

AURORA — Aldermen have unanimously approved a deal that will make way for the city to acquire the former Aurora Christian High School site for $2,500.

Chief Development Officer Bill Wiet said the city has agreed to acquire the block-long property at 14 Blackhawk St., formerly Aurora Christian High School, from DuPage National Bank. The bank has yet to complete foreclosure proceedings and a sheriff’s sale, Wiet said. The bank first filed for foreclosure action against the site developer in 2008.

The 2.82-acre site on the city’s West Side fell into disrepair when the former developer, during the economic downturn, failed to complete a proposed project on site. TomKar Development planned to remodel the school building for condos, tear down the gymnasium at the west end of the building and construct new townhomes on the west end of the property.

The city has cited the property for numerous code violations and has filed a repair or demolish order, but the pending foreclosure case has made it difficult to get action from the site’s owner.

Once the city acquires the property, Wiet said officials will determine whether demolition of the existing Blackhawk site in necessary.

“Should a demolition be the end result, we’ll land bank the property,” Wiet said. Demolition costs may very well exceed the price of the property and the city may look at the possibility of salvage credits for re-use of some of the construction materials and features of the building.

Wiet said the city has had developers previously interested in the site who found it “very, very difficult” to move forward with a feasible redevelopment plan with the building. The goal of city ownership of the site is to prepare the site for future use.

Aldermen earlier refused an agreement that would have rezoned the site for commercial use.

Aurora Christian High School moved to its current Sullivan Road campus location in 2004.

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