Lake and Lathrop property purchased

Building was the last needed to move forward with development plan

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By Jylian Roach

Sedgewick Partners has met its first deadline in the contract for the development project at the southwest corner of Lake Street and Lathrop Avenue: It has purchased the last parcel of land needed.

The commercial building at 7617-7621 Lake Avenue was sold on Sept. 29, meeting its obligations laid out in the contract with the Village of River Forest exactly on deadline.

The development project has had its share of trials. One of the larger obstacles has been purchasing the commercial building owned by the family of Oak Park Township Assessor Ali ElSaffar. 

While ElSaffar has been on board with selling the property, the soil in the area and under the family's building had been severely contaminated by a nearby dry-cleaning business, causing years-long delays and complications in the sale.

"There have been more ups, downs, twists and turns in getting to today's closing than I ever could have imagined," ElSaffar said in a press release. "It's been a wild ride."

The village has been publicly collaborating with developers to create a part commercial, part residential space at the corner of Lake and Lathrop. The plan, according to Sedgewick Partners, is a building that includes first floor commercial spaces and 20-30 2,000-square-foot condos on the second and third floors.

Now that all of the land has been secured, Sedgewick Partners will have until Nov. 30 to submit a development application to the village board.

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