Lake and Forest developer gets more time

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By Marty Stempniak

Staff Reporter

A controversial development that's slated to become Oak Park's tallest building is being pushed back by about two years.

A Chicago-based developer is partnering with the village of Oak Park to reinvent the corner of Lake and Forest—erecting a 20-story hotel there. But the economy appears to have put a halt to things.

Sertus Capital Partners was originally expected to start construction on the building next month, and complete it in December 2012. But according to an amended agreement between Sertus and the village, the developer now has until May 2012 to start construction and November 2014 to complete it.

The village board unanimously approved the change on Monday, after discussing it first in a closed meeting. Oak Parker David Barsotti, a neighbor of the proposed development, who fought to stop it earlier this year, urged the board to not give Sertus any extra time to finish the development.

"You've told citizens of Oak Park that this is good for the community, but most citizens disagree," he said.

Reader Comments

15 Comments - Add Your Comment

Comment Policy

Upset 100 Forest Place Resident from Oak Park  

Posted: November 30th, 2010 4:28 PM

As a resident of the 100 Forest Place apartments, I am not happy with this.

lil6er  

Posted: November 30th, 2010 2:08 PM

I still believe it's more a problem of the hotel design not just the financing- If it was something people wanted they'd be more patient about all the specific details.

paul  

Posted: November 29th, 2010 4:54 PM

What a shame. I was really hoping that the deal's expiration date would save us from this monstrosity. The proposed building has no place in the VILLAGE of Oak Park, and taxpayers can ill afford to give millions of dollars to developers in this time of economic need.

M. Williams from Oak Park  

Posted: November 29th, 2010 8:13 AM

Mr. Murtagh, there is no "baiting" going on here. I respect your opinions and enjoy reading them in the Comments. But in this case, you made a mistake. No board memebrs are "pushing for a zoning variance." Your arguments are weakened when you get the facts wrong. Feel free to complain about the process and point out how it can be improved. But please don't suggest I am "baiting" you when I only want to make all of the facts clear.

john murtagh from Oak Park  

Posted: November 29th, 2010 12:55 AM

Who cares? I care, but not enough to let you bait me. I love your statement that this is the NORMAL process. I think the Plan Commission does great work and I trust they will put in great effort. I just hope they have the mandate to answer all the questions that have arisen. Many communities studied Supportive Housing for months and even years. Zoning ordinances were not their first step. It was one of the last steps. But those communities are not as NORMAL as Oak Park.

M. Williams from Oak Park  

Posted: November 28th, 2010 2:49 PM

Who cares? YOU said that "Board members are pushing for zoning variance...." As best as I can tell, this is the normal process (it starts with the Plan Commission), and there will be TONS of public comment in the process ahead. Facts matter.

john murtagh from Oak Park  

Posted: November 28th, 2010 2:00 PM

Who cares which board members are pro-variance? A HUD Consultant, told the board last year that OP did not need additional single housing. That is the only reference in all board and commission minutes to singles housing in six years of study. The board finally mentioned Madison Avenue housing last Monday when they assigned the subject to the Plan Commission. NO public comments on the subject were allowed. Dec 16, the Planning Commission is holding a public hearing.

M. Williams from Oak Park  

Posted: November 28th, 2010 9:36 AM

Mr. Murtagh has some breaking news. What board members are pushing for variances for the Madison Street housing project? Looks like you've scooped the Journal!

Tom  

Posted: November 27th, 2010 11:23 PM

Daniel, Lake Street Investors has yet to obtain finaning.

john murtagh from Oak Park  

Posted: November 24th, 2010 12:36 PM

It is time to admit that the OP Planning Process is broken. Its success, there are many, are small. There failures are big. We approved money for Sertus. Then Sertus tell us they don't have there share. Board members are pushing for zoning variance so Interfaith can build singles only public housing on Madison. The project is not underfunded, it has no funds at all. The most critical part of funding is MONEY. Success is paying as you go, not promising as you fall. We need Plan Reform.

Joe  

Posted: November 24th, 2010 11:27 AM

Excellent, Oak Park now has more opportunties for it's "Block 37" market days. In addtion to Wednesday at Colt, let's add Monday at Sertus, Tuesday at Oak Park Avenue/Madison; Thursday at Old Volvo dealership; Friday at "The Russian's" Oak Park/South Blvd. development... Gee, I wonder why tax revenue is down....

Violet Aura  

Posted: November 24th, 2010 11:26 AM

@Scott: Um...was that sarcasm, I hope? The "grocery store" was Certified. It was very a convenient place to buy a bit of produce at reasonable prices, along with snacks on the run. This monstrosity of a building costs 75 million, will be 20 stories and block the sky. I guess that is your idea of a beneficial addition to OP. I wish they would just turn it into a green space! It looks nice torn down.

Bruce  

Posted: November 24th, 2010 10:30 AM

Will the tax break timeline begin now, regardless of the developer's construction progress? ;-p

Scott Dawson from Oak Park  

Posted: November 24th, 2010 10:30 AM

Good thing they ran out the Pancake House and grocery store. What a joke.

Daniel  

Posted: November 24th, 2010 9:09 AM

Marty-Would it be possible for you to provide more details? Has the developer even secured financing yet?

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