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Still vacant: DeKalb White Castle property could see new tenants soon, say property owners

Owners working to make it more 'marketable' for future tenants

DeKALB – White Castle closed in May 2017, and the property at 1602 Sycamore Road in DeKalb has been vacant since, although property owners are hoping to change that soon.

The Sycamore Road property is owned by First Midwest Group, based out of Rockford.

The commercial real estate group has been conducting renovations to the property over the past year, Bharat Puri of First Midwest Group said.

“I think [the building] is ready for somebody to take occupancy,” Puri said. “We’re talking with a couple interested users who are interested in locating over there, so hopefully we can try and land those and get businesses in.”

Puri declined to say which users have expressed interest in the property.

“We have done the facade on the building, new parking lot lights, a new parking lot and sidewalks, and refreshed the building,” Puri said. “We keep our buildings fresh, and that attracts clients.”

It’s important to maintain vacant properties, Puri said, especially to be mindful of
surrounding businesses’ images.

Puri said First Midwest would like to see a fast-food chain or even a local diner in that spot, a statement echoed by DeKalb economic development planner Jason Michnick.

Michnick said that although the property isn’t the type the city would have interest in, it doesn’t mean it can’t be filled.

“We’d love to have another restaurant operate it,” Michnick said. “Especially for somebody that wants to be at an intersection and have a drive-thru.”

The May 2017 closing of White Castle bred disappointment from frequent customers, especially because the next-closest chain is in Aurora.

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