Building now has two filled apartments, incoming business
Peru Mayor Scott Harl remembers what the Peru property at 1830 Fourth St. looked like – “It was disgusting.”
“One item that really stuck with you was there were young children’s clothes and shoes and whatnot scattered around,” Harl said. “Then there was a bathroom, where the pets used the bathroom because nobody would apparently take them somewhere else to use a bathroom.”
The city had purchased the building for $70,000 and sold it to Gary Hammers of La Salle for $100.
“It’s absolutely beautiful right now,” Harl told the City Council during Monday night’s regular meeting.
In August 2019, Hammers entered into an agreement with Peru to purchase the property; he promised to renovate and remodel the property within one year — he kept his word.
Hammers recently wrote a letter to the city, asking for confirmation from the council acknowledging he fulfilled the agreement.
Hammers has spent “well over $300,000,” on the property, he said.
There are two occupied apartments at the building, and in addition, there will be a business named Passini’s Wood Fired Pizza at the front lower level.
The property sits southeast of City Hall.
Alderman Mike Sapienza told the council, “I used to walk past that several times a week, and to walk on the side of the street that that building was on, was something because there was usually garbage that flowed out onto the sidewalk.
“The people that were there, they kind of looked at you funny when you walked past, you really had to think twice if that was the side of the street you wanted to walk on,” Sapienza said.
“You walked past that building? I ran past it,” Alderman Dave Waldorf said.
“We need to think back to what it was,” Sapienza said. “Here’s another project the city took on to clean something up that was really a mess. … Good job.”
In Hammers’ letter, he commended City Building Inspector Tyler Dobrich for “supporting the redevelopment of 1830 Fourth Street. I also cannot tell you how much I appreciate the support my crew and I received working on this project.”
Hammers also thanked Alderman Jim Lukosus – “I think Jim has the vision and dedication to make the city of Peru a better place for all our citizens.”
And Hammers thanked Harl “for having faith in me and giving my crew the moral support to complete the project.”
Officials plan to vote on a resolution on the Aug. 3 meeting to acknowledge with formal paperwork the completion of the renovation.
When officials voted to sell the property to Hammers in 2019, Alderman Mike Radtke referred to the police being called to the building more than 130 times in the past 10 years, and he said all of those police calls were costing the city money. Police Chief Doug Bernabei said the police surely were called to the building more times than that, and he mentioned that illegal and questionable activities, often just outside of the property, were taking place in view from the mayor’s office as well as visitors driving past on U.S. 6.