A plan may come before River Forest trustees this spring to construct for-sale housing on the long-vacant Hines Lumber property, one of the owners of the property said Monday.

Developer Rob Palley noted that the project that he and Stephen Saunders, the other property owner and developer, would present would be for single-family homes or townhouses at 7820 Madison St. 

“It’s a great location,” Palley said. 

Palley and his Granite Development have been active residential and commercial developers in River Forest and in Oak Park. 

This past September, Palley and Saunders brought forward a plan to build 10 townhouses on the property. Palley declined to comment on why that proposal did not go on to the village’s development review board after trustees gave the go-ahead. The board would have to review an application for a planned development permit for such a project. A recommendation would go to the board of trustees who would have final say-so.

Asked Monday her thoughts on delays to the Hines project, Village President Cathy Adduci said, “We would like nothing more than to have the former Hines property developed. The sooner the better.”

If a proposal comes forward again, it would end up being the third presentation of a project for the site since June when local resident Thomas Cronin brought forward a plan to convert the Hines parcel and the village’s adjacent public works garage into a 65,000-square-foot sports complex. 

That deal fell through; no details were provided.

The village government has indicated it would consider relocating its public works functions to a different location to expand the Hines development.

Madison Street has been one of three business areas River Forest has longed look at redeveloping. The baseline for that revitalization is the Corridor Study, which outlines the village’s long-range plan for improvement, redevelopment, beautification and overall revitalization.

What could end up aiding that development will be new lighting, pedestrian crosswalks and other amenities that are part of a $1.833 million beautification project to be undertaken with neighboring Forest Park this year. River Forest overall will put in $492,325 toward the project, which is funded predominately with a state grant. Construction is slated to start this spring and be finish by the end of the year.

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