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Oswego to accept donated land for community entertainment venue

A new outdoor entertainment venue and community gathering space near Orchard Road may be coming to Oswego, pending an upcoming vote of the Village Board.

On Tuesday, the Oswego Village Board will consider whether to accept a free donation of land from Oswego business owner Kevin Fialko. Fialko owns Oswego Junction Mall, and its anchoring restaurant Prohibition Junction, and recently produced VET FEST 141 there.    

The land to be donated is the approximately three acres of open green space immediately to the west of the Park N Ride parking lot. According to the proposed agreement, the Village will not pay for the property, but in exchange for taking ownership of the land, the Village would agree to put the land to use as a public entertainment venue that could be enjoyed by the community within three years.

“Mayor Parlier and I have the same aligned vision for the space,” Fialko said. “I think Oswego is just a great community, and as far as the land, I see it as something the community could use – a place for gathering, a public space, and an entertainment venue.”

The new park and venue would anchor the developments already in the area, which, in addition to Prohibition Junction, includes the popular Steve Buresh’s Cheesecake and Sandwich Shop, Adventures in Learning daycare, and the Park N Ride lot, which has been used largely for special events since Metra discontinued shuttle service in 2015. The Park N Ride lot is still slated as the future site of an Oswego Metra Station, and this new community space could effectively use the lot both in the short term and on non-peak station hours in the future.

“Activating Orchard Road has been a priority of mine for the Oswego community, and being able to offer an amenity like this is a great first step,” said Village President Troy Parlier. “I want to thank Kevin and his team for this act of generosity and for sharing in this vision of robust, community-minded growth along Orchard Road.”

There are no specific plans proposed yet for the entertainment venue.  If the Village Board votes in favor of accepting the donated property, Village staff would begin engaging the community to begin generating a design for the site.

“The idea currently would include an outdoor stage that could be used by local bands, student bands, or theatre groups, as well as by other interested government agencies,” said Village Administrator Dan Di Santo.  “We do envision in addition to an active stage having a park area accessible to the community as a gathering space with multi-seasonal use.”

The Oswego Village Board is expected to vote to accept the donated land at its meeting on Tuesday, Oct. 1.

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