A year ago, the corner of Madison Street and Austin Boulevard was the corporate home of Park National Bank, a multi-billion dollar, multi-state bank holding company. Today it is simply the location of one of 3,002 branches of U.S Bank.

There are many ways to measure the impact of that change – loss of jobs, much diminished philanthropic efforts, even misdirected water bill payments. But another is the planned disposition of several parcels formerly owned by Park National, unwanted by U.S. Bank and now up for sale through a federal agency.

The feds are trying to unload eight Park National properties in Oak Park. They include an office building, parking lot and single-family homes. The feds were saddled with the properties after the bank that took over Park National didn’t want them.

Oak Park-based FBOP Corp., the parent of Park National, was seized by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. in October 2009. And the FDIC took bids for the company’s assets, two weeks before they were purchased by Minneapolis-based U.S. Bank.

But there were some assets of Park National’s that its successor didn’t want, said Greg Hernandez, a spokesman for the FDIC. Those included eight properties in Oak Park, which the FDIC placed into “receivership” with the intent to sell them.

Those consist of an office building at 44-50 Madison that houses the local branch of the federally funded Head Start early childhood education program, along with single-family homes at 500-508 S. Lyman and at 510 S. Humphrey. The properties have recently been listed for sale, but a call to the real estate broker was not returned.

Typically, the FDIC has a bank’s assets in receivership for three to five years before unloading them all, Hernandez said. Once all the assets are all sold, the FDIC closes the receivership out. There are currently 273 active receiverships in the country.

Park National offered a portion of the office building at 44 Madison rent free for up to five years to Head Start after the Community and Economic Development Association of Cook County had threatened to move the agency out of Oak Park. Sources told Wednesday Journal last year that the homes on Lyman were to be razed to make way for more bank parking.

CONTACT: mstempniak@wjinc.com

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