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By Devin Rose
The former Hines Lumber site in River Forest, which has been sitting empty since August 2009, was under contract as of Friday, according to a real estate listing.
The site at 7820 W. Madison St. has a listed price of $1.65 million on the Multiple Listing Service, or MLS, a real estate website. The contract date is listed as Friday and the status is "contingent." The asking price had been lowered from the original price of almost $1.75 million. The listing date was Feb. 16.
Messages left with Sandra Kessler, the listed agent with Prudential Rubloff, or with NorStates Bank in Waukegan, which owns the property, were not returned Monday.
But an executive and investor at Bounce Indoor Sportsplex, which is scheduled to open in Berwyn in September, said he'd like to put two 25,000-square-foot ice rinks at the site if the current contract doesn't work out.
The Oak Park resident said he did not put in a bid, but he and others behind Bounce see a need for indoor sports facilities and have been in negotiations with the village. Municipalities lack the funds to develop facilities, but there's sufficient demand for a hockey rink in the area, he said.
Bounce is in the process of raising $35 million to build or buy multiple sports facilities in the Chicago area. The executive said he plans to speak with village officials again this week about the site.
"We've had folks contact us about numerous options, and we'll continue to explore those," said Village Administrator Eric Palm, adding that he was not aware of the contract or who was behind it.
When asked about the idea of ice rinks at the site, Village President John Rigas said he'd have to compare it to other uses and understand the economics of it. He said he did not know who the potential buyer was.
Members of the River Forest Economic Development Committee had suggested putting a high-end grocery store or an assisted-living facility on the property, which will likely involve a teardown.
The village-owned Public Works Department building on Forest Avenue, which is adjacent to the site, could be included as part of the project as well.