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By Devin Rose
It remains unclear in River Forest whether the contingent contract on the former Hines Lumber site is moving forward, but an investor at a sports complex set to open in Berwyn says he's still making an effort to reach out to village officials about developing the site.
"The village has heard conflicting reports regarding the status of the property," said Village Administrator Eric Palm about the vacant site at 7820 W. Madison St. An online real estate listing service showed the property under contract in June, but Palm said the potential buyer never contacted his office.
Messages left with Sandra Kessler, the listed agent with Prudential Rubloff, or with NorStates Bank in Waukegan, which owns the property, have not been returned.
The investor and executive at Bounce Indoor Sportsplex, scheduled to open in September, said last week he's still making an effort to talk with the village about the property so he can build two 25,000-square-foot ice rinks there. The Oak Parker, who did not want to be named, said he's been in contact with a large group of parents in Oak Park and River Forest whose children play hockey. Those parents, he said, are concerned that the upcoming construction of Ridgeland Common could lead to the disintegration of the park district program.
Once the renovation begins in March of 2013, "they're going to be forced to go elsewhere and they might not come back," he said. Park district staff have said they are working out a transition plan and are in the process of relocating programs.
The Bounce executive said River Forest officials have been very open to discussing his concept, but they're also looking at a location next to Ferrara Pan Candy Company in Forest Park and another location that he would not specify. He estimated the cost to be about $1.7 million, of which he could put in about $1.1 million. His group would be looking for the rest in tax increment financing (TIF) funds.