Art Studio and Exhibit Space to Repurpose First United Methodist Church, Parking – Shaw Local

DeKALB – A new art studio and exhibition space will soon occupy the former location of the First United Methodist Church in DeKalb after a development proposal received the backing of the DeKalb City Council this week.

DeKalb town leaders on Monday approved a petition submitted by EggToy Studios Design Inc. to make it happen in a 6-0 vote. Second Ward Alderman Barb Larson and Fourth Ward Alderman Greg Perkins were absent.

Petitioner Jacob Tennant of EggToy Studios Design asked council to rezone the property and parking lot to accommodate the future art studio and exhibition space. First Methodist Church leaders opened their new location on North Annie Glidden Road in July.

City Manager Bill Nicklas said EggToy Studios Design is currently located in Sycamore’s Anaconda complex and is looking for more space.

“They are interested in the church, partly because of its location, partly because of the square footage indoors in the large open space of the sanctuary and inside the offices etc.,” said Nicklas. “But also because it’s unique and they do unique work. They feel they would be challenged to do more creative work in this space than in other industrial spaces. »

The First United Methodist Church covers 31,592 square feet and includes an additional 8,590 square feet of basement storage, according to city documents.

With city approval, EggToy Studios Design is not expected to occupy the site until next year after the church vacates the property.

The First United Methodist Church plans to sell the building to EggToy Studios Design. The studio company will then lease the space from the church until the new church along Annie Glidden Road is built in the summer of 2023.

With the zoning change, the petitioner is able to establish compliance with surrounding uses to the west at the DeKalb Public Library and to the southeast at the Agora Tower, according to city documents.

Nicklas said he embraced the idea of ​​reusing church property.

“A lot of people went to this church for inspiration,” Nicklas said. “I think they’re going to keep going to this building for inspiration.”

First Ward Alderman Carolyn Morris said the town is excited about EggToy Studios Design and what they bring to the community.

“There really is nothing more satisfying than doing business like this and watching the community thrive and grow one small business at a time,” Morris said.

Nicklas said he believed the business proposal was a win-win for everyone involved.

“It’s good for both parties,” Nicklas said. “A good thing, I think, for the neighborhood.”

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