WASHINGTON, Ill.–Local vineyard owners are planning to expand their business to Washington.
Bob and Lisa Barry, owners of Barry Vineyards and Tres Rojas Wines, bought nearly 52 acres of land on Cruger Rd. in Washington.
Their goal? To bring a brand new vineyard and winery to Central Illinois.
Monday night the city of Washington voted on whether to annex the property and place it in city limits. The council approved the annexation 5-1.
Jon Oliphant, Director of Planning and Development in Washington, says annexation would allow the property to have a public safety presence.
He says the property and sales taxes could benefit the city as well.
“The sales that would be generated from their sales, not only on site but perhaps off-site at other locations in the city will be a benefit.
And then the unknown is really whatever kind of spin off effects that would generate from this,” Oliphant said.
The vineyards’ owners and some city leaders say they’re excited about the project, but Mitchell Gregory and his wife who live right down the road, are voicing their concerns.
“In the last 3 years there’s been a tremendous amount of land sold within 1-2 miles of this area. Pretty much an average cost of 11-12 thousand dollars if you took the ground, and this ground was sold for $3,742 per acre,” Gregory said.
While Gregory says he is happy someone is moving into the property and bringing business to the area, he says Cruger Rd. is a busy one and safety must be taken into consideration.
“It’s been viably used as a great place for people to ride cycles, run, and do everything,” Gregory said.
Owner Bob Barry says he’s expanding the road from 1-2 lanes heading into the property, and parking will be to the back; away from Cruger Rd.
“We’re gonna have a patio area, a bunch of vineyards back here, back behind me over here is gonna be more vineyards by the road going out. Over on this side is all gonna be a parking area and green space,” Barry said.