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|Azer Plans Medical Supply Store
|The City of Galesburg is giving a longtime local businessman money to rehab a building he wants to buy, and the chance to start a new business along with that.
The Galesburg City Council, during a special meeting Monday night, approved a $225,000 revolving loan to Azer Clinic owner Wil Azer, along with a $24,000 facade renovation grant, so he can open up a medical supply store primarily located at the current Billiards on Main facility and Main and Prairie Streets.
At least one aldermen was concerned that Azer wanted to open up "Azer Medical Supply" in an area of downtown Galesburg that doesn't have a lot of parking. Azer told aldermen that wasn't the point.
"The medical equipment business is usually a destination business," Azer said. "There's a lot of deliveries that we will be doing. It's not a business that is designed for...shoppers to walk in and out and half to park and get there. So, it's a destination business, not a location business."
Azer says he will divide the Billiards on Main building into two sections, one for a medical supply showroom of sorts, and one for another tenant.
As part of the deal, City Economic Development Director Cesar Suarez says Azer is essentially fronting $10,000 in cash, that will lower the interest rate on his revolving loan from 3% to 2.5% for good reason.
"In order to make this as clean as possible and a win-win situation for all parties -- meaning, the buyer and the seller of the property, and the city -- it was determined by the Loan Review Committee to go back to Mr. Azer and ask him to advance $10,000 forward that wasn't a part of the original agreement," Suarez said. "When he advanced the $10,000 forward, it was equivalent to reducing the interest rate in terms of the time value of money."
In other words, Suarez says the cash will help pay off a revolving loan outstanding with the current building's owner.
Third Ward Alderman Russell Fleming voted no on the revolving loan, saying he didn't understand why the interest rate needed to be lowered.
Azer says assuming accreditations are met, Azer Medical Supply could open in June, and enough rehab work will be done to divide the Billiard on Main building into two office spaces.
(This is what 156 E. Main Street looks like as of Tuesday. WGIL News Story and Photo by Will Stevenson.)
(An architect's rendering of what Azer Medical Supply will look like once the facade work is completed. Graphic courtesy City of Galesburg.)
|03 09 10 by Newsroom
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