“This building tells a story” – Chicago Tribune

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The quality of the recent restoration of the former Kendall County Jail is what inspired an Aurora investor to purchase the historic Yorkville site.

“This is truly a high quality restoration and the building’s location in downtown Yorkville is incredible,” said new owner Brian Augustine.

Yorkville City Council unanimously voted a deal in August 2019 to sell the 1893 building at 111 W. Madison St. to the development group of Peter McKnight, of Spartanburg, South Carolina, and its former business partner .

McKnight completed the renovation of the building in December 2021 and in June completed the real estate transaction selling the property, which he said was purchased by Augustine, of Aurora.

The developer said the property sold for $1 million.

Augustine loves the location in downtown Yorkville.

“It’s a quiet neighborhood with the old Kendall County Courthouse nearby and close to the Fox River and restaurants,” he said.

The renovated site currently has five fully leased apartments and a commercial unit, he said. Augustin will leave current practices in place.

Renovation work included reinforcing structural elements of the building and working on masonry, stone and brickwork as well as replacing entire floors, he said. The interior woodwork was also done.

Augustine said the developer has done extremely well with the building’s interior finishes.

“He got it all back to the posts and did a lot of work inside,” Augustine said. “The property matched my investment criteria and was what I was looking for, so I moved forward with it.”

Augustine said he was researching the history of the building.

“I’ve always been into historical things. This building tells a story,” he said.

Augustine is originally from the St. Louis area and raised her family in the Yorkville area.

“Yorkville is a great growing area,” he said.

The Kendall County Sheriff’s Office moved from the old jail site to a new County Public Safety Center in 1992 on the west side of Yorkville. Yorkville purchased the former jail property for $160,000 from Kendall County in 2010.

Yorkville officials said the city requested proposals in 2012 for the property but received only one response from a potential developer. The city at the time did not move forward with the proposal, according to city documents.

Preservation advocates formed the Yorkville Historic Preservation Society as part of a campaign to save the old jail building.

The city sold the building to the prospective developer for $1,000.

Linda Girardi is a freelance journalist for The Beacon-News.

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