Fehr Graham is Moving. Is it Good for Freeport or Freeport Insiders Only?

Where they're moving is clear. Why, when, and other details aren't nearly as clear at this time.

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The Voice of Freeport has learned that Fehr Graham is moving from their current location at 221 E. Main Street in downtown Freeport into the old Fifth Third Bank building at 101 W Stephenson St. The building at 101 W Stephenson is currently owned by State Senator Brian Stewart. It’s unclear as of this writing whether Fehr Graham is purchasing the building or entering into a lease agreement. Multiple messages for comment have been left for Fehr Graham and State Senator Stewart’s office. Multiple sources outside of Fehr Graham and Senator Stewart’s office confirmed the intention to move.

The current location of Fehr Graham on East Main Street is owned by Oracle Development LLC. The Illinois Secretary of State website lists Oracle Development’s managers as Mark Winter, Winter Construction Inc, and the Morse Family Trust. The President of Winter Construction is Mark Winter. The property was purchased by Oracle in 2002 for $216,500.

The new location, which used to be Fifth Third Bank, is owned by Freeport Centre. LLC. Freeport Centre only lists one agent or manager with the Illinois Secretary of State and that’s State Senator Brian Stewart.

The Voice of Freeport has left several messages with the Mayor, City Manager, and other local officials to get comment on this move as well as any word on what this means for the east end of Main Street if the old Rawleigh headquarters building remains vacant for any length of time. In the early part of the new century there was significant effort and tax dollars put into fixing up this building. According to a few sources there was both brownfield grants and TIF dollars used for these improvements. The Voice of Freeport has not yet independently verified this information.

During the course of these conversations The Voice of Freeport was also told that The Greater Freeport Partnership would also be moving into the new building. GFP Director C. Mark Williams told us that there’s no lease right now but looking at options. When asked about the potential of a move he stated that they have a list of options, sooner than later would be the timeframe, and that they’re looking for the best solution for the organization. The Greater Freeport Partnership is currently housed at 27 W Stephenson St. which is also owned by Freeport Centre LLC a company also managed by State Senator Brian Stewart.

We will continue to update as new information becomes available.

Image courtesy of Winter Construction Inc.

Carl Utt is a newly minted citizen journalist and one of the founders of The Voice of Freeport and Progressive Vision Media LLC