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Local News

Oswego Village Board OKs formal agreement for downtown Mexican eatery

An architect's sketch of the restaurant proposed for construction at 63 W. Washington St. (Route 34) in downtown Oswego.
An architect's sketch of the restaurant proposed for construction at 63 W. Washington St. (Route 34) in downtown Oswego.

Will Oswego residents be sipping margaritas on the patio of the village’s newest Mexican restaurant by next summer? If developer Andrew Trasatt has his way, the answer will be yes.

“Margaritas go down better when it’s hot, so we’ll try to make that happen,” the Naperville-based developer said. “As soon as we sign a deal, we’ll move as fast as we can.”

On Tuesday, Oswego Village Board members moved Trasatt one step closer to his goal by unanimously approving a redevelopment agreement that would pave way for him to build a casual Mexican restaurant at 63 W. Washington St. in downtown Oswego. Trasatt and his business partner John Leahy currently own two Naperville restaurants. 

The redevelopment agreement for the new restaurant outlines the terms and conditions of what’s expected of both the village and developers during the building process.

“We’ve moved from ‘We think this is a real possibility’ to ‘We think this is going to happen’ and now everybody’s working on a defined track to make this happen within a certain time frame,” said Oswego Community Development Director Corina Cole.

As part of the pact, the village will transfer the property for the restaurant to the developer for $10, and will be reimbursed for the purchase later via tax increment financing district revenue. All other private development costs will be paid for by the developer, officials said.

According to village officials, the village will fund “all the public improvements related to the development, including a new public parking lot, the complete reconstruction of a portion of Adams Street, redesign of the alley to make it an inviting pedestrian-friendly attraction, and infrastructure improvements including electric line relocation and water and sewer replacement.”

The cost of public improvements is expected to be repaid to the village through TIF revenue and sales taxes, and the improvements will benefit other properties on the block and support future redevelopment.

Construction on the block is expected to begin in March 2019. Under the terms of the redevelopment agreement, the restaurant will be open by spring 2020, village officials said.

Construction will include the demolition of the existing house at the future restaurant site, village officials said.

“I want to extend a great thank you to the village president, village board, administration and staff,” Trasatt said at Tuesday’s meeting. “Everyone has been fantastic working with us and we couldn’t be more excited about this.”

One thing that does remain up in the air, however, is the future restaurant’s name. 

“I know it’s been a hot topic for a lot of people, but we’re going to keep you in suspense a little longer,” Trasatt joked. “We have some ideas, but we’ve been getting lukewarm responses. We might go back to the drawing board.”

Whatever the name ends up being, Village President Gail Johnson assured Trasatt that the village is rallying for his success.

“We’re as serious about making this happen as you are,” she said. “We are your partner in this.”

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