With the economy in turmoil, not much is happening in the development realm. And three Oak Park projects - owned by Alex Troyanovsky, once one of the most active developers in the village - are at a standstill.
Three parcels of land located near the corner of Lake and Marion, partially owned by Troyanovsky, are in foreclosure. Those include 1038 Lake, which currently houses Mancini's Pizza Pasta Café, and a lot at 150 N. Marion, just north of Chase Bank.
The latter development was to have three separate parts, including townhomes, duplexes and a 59-unit, 9-story condo building. All have been built, except for the condo tower, which is not going to happen, said John Schiess, architect for the building.
The project originally envisioned two 80-foot towers and approximately 90 condominiums. But the village asked the developer to rework the design.
The project needed a number of easements from Chase Bank in order to build the reconfigured condo tower while providing the needed number of parking spaces and still allowing bank customers to access the ATMs. The two sides could not reach an agreement.
"After two years of struggling with it, trying to work things out to the bank's satisfaction, in all that time the market change dramatically," Schiess said. "It became a much different real estate climate than when it started."
MB Financial Bank filed a complaint to foreclose on the properties on March 10. According to the filing, a mortgage was taken out on the parcels in October of 2007 for $2.8 million. MB Financial is seeking the principal sum of $2.8 million, along with $39,000 in accrued interest, $665 in late charges and any attorney fees and costs for filing the foreclosure.
Reached Tuesday morning in Russia, Troyanovsky said he hoped to work out a sale of the land at Lake and Marion but declined to elaborate.
"Unfortunately, it took too long for some properties to get approved, and we ended up in a bad economy," he said.
Another Troyanovsky-owned project, planned for an empty lot at Madison and Grove, likely isn't happening either. The 36-unit condo building, with ground-floor retail, was slated for 827-833 Madison. The project gained approval from the village board in January of 2008.
But the approval was made null and void in September when the developer didn't take out building permits after nine months, said Village Planner Craig Failor. They would need to go through approval processes again if they wanted to proceed, but Troyanovsky said that probably won't happen.
"I'm just not going ahead with this project, not until the economy is stable," he said. "But nobody knows when that's going to happen."
Meanwhile, the Park District of Forest Park is considering buying a Troyanovsky-owned piece of land at 7329 Harrison in Forest Park. The park district stated publicly last month its interest in buying the site. Troyanovsky holds an approval from the Forest Park village council to transform the former Edward Roos Cedar Chest building into condominiums, but that project has tanked with the economy. Unless building permits are secured and work resumes by June 12, the current proposal for the housing project will officially die, according to the director of Forest Park's building department. Troyanovsky said he intends to obtain permits by the June deadline but could not say whether work would proceed.
Approval also expired on a Troyanovsky project located at the corner of Oak Park Avenue and South Boulevard, which the village board voted on a year ago. Troyanovsky said he wasn't aware of the timeline expiring for Oak Park and South. The development was to include an L-shaped building, wrapped around two older brick buildings, that would include 42 condominiums, a small retail space, and 90 off-street parking spots. He still believes the development will go forward.
"It's a good project, and it could happen," he said. "Everything else, time will show."
If the approval did expire, Troyanovsky said, "They'll go back and get it re-approved, which shouldn't be a problem. It's better than to have all these be vacant buildings there."
Forest Park Review Editor Josh Adams contributed to this report.