O'Fallon Progress

Nine years ago, Shiloh bought the Red Barn. Now they're hoping someone else wants it.

The Red Barn 5-acre property located at 2400 Country Ln. in Shiloh, off Hartman Lane has been in a dilapidated status since the village purchased the property Oct. 8, 2009. Recently, the property went from being eight to five acres after village officials added three acres to Sierra Park, which abuts the property.
The Red Barn 5-acre property located at 2400 Country Ln. in Shiloh, off Hartman Lane has been in a dilapidated status since the village purchased the property Oct. 8, 2009. Recently, the property went from being eight to five acres after village officials added three acres to Sierra Park, which abuts the property. rkirsch@bnd.com

The fate of Shiloh's village-owned Red Barn is still up in the air, and the clock is ticking.

Developers have two weeks to come up with ideas on how to develop the eight-acre business lot at the end of Country Lane in Shiloh.

Proposals are due to the village of Shiloh by 3 p.m. May 4.

It's been more than a year since the Shiloh Board of Trustees was divided on what to do with the dilapidated former restaurant that abuts Sierra Park, but now they want to sell it.

"We've had some inquiries from some people interested in it, so hopefully we can sell it," Shiloh Mayor Jim Vernier said.

He says he's "confident," this is the right move for the village even though the "unique" building has been vacant for five years.

"The market's good right now, so hopefully with the right person, and we're very motivated to sell," Vernier said.

Built in 1984, the 8.3-acre vacant property housed a string of restaurants for years.

“I think it’s time we should get rid of it, and just let someone else take it over,” Trustee Greg O’Neil said.

Shiloh purchased the Red Barn in October 2009 for $185,000.

"Honestly, it’s been a headache for the village, for years. We've been maintaining it and mowing it — what a burden, let someone else develop it," O'Neil said.

The barn is in a poor shape with extensive roof, mold and interior issues from water damage and neglect.

"It's going to take some work. It's still a very sound building, but it needs updating, heating and cooling, a new roof and TLC, but it could be a good end product when you're done," Vernier said.

The barn-like building has three levels with 6,300 square-feet on the first floor, 2,200 square-feet on the second floor; and a 1,600 square-foot basement.

"The village is very interested in hearing proposals and ideas. And, it's very unique, and I think people like unique," Vernier said.

In 2016, the village went through negotiations, but the sale never came to fruition. Talk of demolition was discussed among trustees as well, but never transpired.

A year later, the board remained split on how to move forward with development of the property amid complaints from neighbors that the building being was an eyesore.

Gary Karasek, of U Studio, presented the village Planning Commission and Shiloh trustees with plans for a potential Cultural Arts Center inside the barn with a cost upward of $500,000.

The concept for a Cultural Arts Center is off the table now.

"I just couldn't get the support of all the board members for it," Vernier said.

Unsure what the future holds, Vernier said he's keeping an open mind.

"I've often thought that it would even be good for a business office or for a catering business of sorts," Vernier said.

O'Neil said the building has more potential if a developer invested in it.

"I'd like to see it turned into a another restaurant or a banquet hall, or something other than a big empty barn," O'Neil said.

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