ST. CHARLES – The owner of the building that houses the Arcada Theatre and Club Arcada plans to acquire the city-owned building next to the Arcada Theatre and redevelop it as a bar/lounge.
Frontier Development also plans to put a cafe and soda fountain in the space that had housed Gordy’s Grill and Mart, which also is located in the Arcada building. Gordy’s recently closed its doors.
Onesti Entertainment Corporation leases space in the building at 105 E. Main St. in downtown St. Charles for the Arcada Theatre and Club Arcada. At their Sept. 9 meeting, aldermen on the St. Charles City Council’s Planning and Development Committee unanimously recommended approval of a redevelopment agreement with STC Arcada, LLC. The agreement will now go to the full City Council for review.
Frontier Development, through ownership entity STC Arcada, LLC, closed on the purchase of the Arcada building on May 3. The historic building first opened its doors in 1926 and attracted performers such as George Burns and Gracie Allen.
The Arcada building previously had been owned by Scott Price, who lives in the state of Washington. Frontier plans to redevelop the city-owned 107-109 E. Main St. building, formerly known as George’s Sports. The city bought the sports store in 2012 with the intent that it would complement the Arcada Theatre.
Frontier Development has submitted plans showing a bar/lounge on the first floor of the building and theater back offices on the second floor. Ron Onesti, president and founder of Onesti Entertainment Corporation, would operate the bar/lounge.
Additional restrooms for the Arcada building also are part of the plans. Onesti has said that additional restrooms are needed to accommodate large crowds.
Part of the building’s second floor also would be used for VIP suites to serve performers and theater guests. In addition, Frontier plans to make site improvements at the rear of the building to improve grading and drainage, upgrade the utility services to George’s and the theater and turn the space into an outdoor patio area.
The city is requiring Frontier Development to meet several conditions, including substantial remediation of the outstanding code violations at the Arcada Theatre building. Frontier Development also will have to show evidence of financing for the project and secure permits for building improvements that generally conform with the concept plans.
The city plans to convey the property to Frontier Development on Nov. 15. Frontier Development would pay the city a nominal price of $10 for the building. Building improvements are expected to be completed on Feb. 14, 2020.
The city is required to publish a notice regarding the intent to transfer the property for development and provide the opportunity for alternate proposals or bids to be submitted before a Sept. 13 deadline, but have not received any.