Possible bidder lined up for former air base hospital


RANTOUL, Ill. (WCIA) — Officials in Rantoul are in the process of approving a bidder for the hospital on the former Chanute Air Force Base. 

After the previous owner failed to fulfill tax obligations to the village, administrator Scott Eisenhauer said the building was put up for a Champaign County trustee auction. 

Although they’re still in the process of vetting the out-of-state bidder, Eisenhauer said it “appears” that the village is going to have a buyer interested in transforming the hospital into a “marketable property.”  

That vetting process is there to ensure that whoever does buy the hospital can fulfill their tax obligations, airport manager Eric Vences said. 

Eisenhauer said having an interested buyer indicates a“resurgence” of interest in purchasing base property. 

“Again it’s another example of having a long-standing vacant property, and one that some people even thought was unsafe, and now we have someone interested in taking over that property doing all of the cleanup and environmental work that is necessary to make the property usable once again,” Eisenhauer said. 

Part of that resurgence?

A “significant” amount of interested in the hangers on the former base. 

Officials estimate that three of the four hangers will either be purchased outright or leased to someone within “30-60 days.” 

They’re part of the 31 different structures currently up for sale or lease all over the base, a “number of which are already being negotiated for both” options. 

“The resurgence that is happening right now in the base area is very exciting, and we are very optimistic that what existed there a year ago in vacant structures and vacant land — a year from now you’ll find a great deal more activity on all of it,” Eisenhauer said.

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