It’s been about seven years since the village began discussions with Clark Street Development to build a mixed-use building on the large village-owned parking lot near Harlem and Lake.

Now Village President Anan Abu-Taleb is calling on the developer to bring plans forward for the project by the first of June, convince the village board that financing is solid, be ready to build by fall or the village will find someone else to develop the project.

Abu-Taleb said he wants shovels in the ground by this fall and the project completed by fall 2017.

“I think the village has waited too long for this,” he said, adding that Oak Park is “business friendly, but we’re not business desperate.”

Andrew Stein, a founding principal of Clark Street Development, could not immediately be reached for comment.

Village trustees were hopeful last year that a project would be forthcoming, after they signed a redevelopment agreement outlining plans for two buildings – an 11-story mixed-use building facing North Boulevard and a five-story building facing Lake Street – and a five-level parking garage.

Clark Street missed its first deadline for submitting a more detailed proposal for the project at the beginning of January, and trustees confirmed in March that it unofficially plans to increase the height of the 11-story building to as many as 20 stories.

The company, which has not yet secured financing for the project, also switched its partnership with co-developer Jupiter Realty sometime within the last 12 months for Lennar Multifamily Communities. In an interview in March, Stein declined to discuss the reason for the partnership change.

Abu-Taleb said Lennar is a nationally recognized development firm and capable of handling the project, but the change in partnership was a red flag for some trustees who wondered whether it was a sign of instability in the project.

All the logistical shuffling and the missed deadline adds up to trouble for Clark Street, and Abu-Taleb said trustees are starting to get fed up.

“By June 1, I think it’s going to be very difficult to convince the (village board of trustees) to give this developer any more chances,” he said.

The project is expected to cost approximately $80 million or more to build. Abu-Taleb said the village could consider establishing substantial penalties if Clark Street fails to meet its deadlines.

Calling the Colt property “the best site in the village” for a new development – largely because of the size of the property – Abu-Taleb said the village has other developers “knocking on our door about development in Oak Park.”

“The village board is ready to put its foot down, and I think the board needs to do whatever is necessary to get the project done,” he said.

The village loses money with every delay in the project. He roughly estimates that once completed the development would generate as much as $3 million in property and sales tax annually.

Join the discussion on social media!

7 replies on “Anan tells Colt developer: ‘Show me’”