A few weeks ago, we passed along a report by the Kankakee (Ill.) Daily Journal that said the city of Wilmington was going to take over the historic Eagle Hotel on Route 66 on Jan. 15 because its owner, William Scales, didn’t have it operating as a business by a city-imposed five-year deadline.
On Monday, the Joliet Herald-News reported that may not be the case after all.
[Assistant Administrator Sheryl] Puracchio based her announcement on a contract signed by Scales and Tony McGann, the former mayor. The document was dated Jan. 15, 2001.
Attorneys reviewing the documents learned that for some reason the actual deal for the building did not officially close until April 2003. The closing documents were not included with the recorded contract.
“I contacted Mr. Scales immediately and apologized,” Puracchio said. “In addition, I stated that the city has the same goal in mind, to have the hotel restored and operational.”
This new finding gives Scales an April 2008 deadline.
“There is no way I am giving up on this project,” Scales said. “I am just as passionate for this project as I was when it started many years ago.”
The story makes it clear there was confusion between the city and Scales on the agreement, if there was one at all. Regardless, it seems apparent the city has backed off, and Scales will have about 14 months to open the Eagle Hotel, built in 1836, as a hotel/restaurant. This is certainly a better situation than having the hotel be in limbo all over again.
(Hat tip to Lynn “Lulu” Bagdon.)