NORMAL — A dilapidated building near uptown is getting a major upgrade.
The former Feeney Oil facility at 208 W. Parkinson St., near Linden Street, will undergo a $300,000 renovation, and a chiropractic office could open there as soon as this fall.
Plans submitted to the town of Normal include parking on the east, north and west sides of the building; a terrace between the building and Linden; a 14-foot-wide sign; interior changes; and new doors, windows and awnings.
The renovation works in concert with plans to widen the railroad right-of-way toward Parkinson and expand the sidewalk next to Linden, both to accommodate high-speed rail.
Normal's Uptown Design Review Commission approved the renovation plan on Monday. Because it includes no code variances, City Council approval is not required, said Town Planner Mercy Davison.
"It will be nice to have that blighted corner really look like a part of uptown," said Commissioner Dennis French.
French said the terrace "could be really quite lovely at night" with good lighting.
"It's a great improvement," said Chairman Rick Kentzler.
Chuck Feeney, who owns the property, said he was waiting to lease the building to a company that would beautify the site. It has stood vacant for more than a decade.
Dr. Jeffrey Stout said he hasn't decided if his business will move or expand to the building. Stout Chiropractic is currently in a 1,600-square-foot building at 214 Linden St., two blocks from the 2,700-square-foot building on Parkinson.
Feeney and Stout said they haven't agreed on lease terms but expect to sign a 10-year agreement.
Stout said he hopes to be just part of redevelopment south of the railroad tracks in uptown. Normal wants to build a new library and develop a residential and retail district in "Uptown South" as part of its Uptown 2.0 plan.
"I really think it'll be an outstanding addition to that part of town," Stout said of the renovated building.
Feeney said after the site is finished, he'll look to redevelop properties behind it — near the intersection of Parkinson and Oak streets — that he owns as well.