The reservoir of good will for the current development team working to build a five-story, mixed-use project at Lake and Lathrop in River Forest keeps getting shallower. Yet another extension was granted to Sedgwick Properties, but one trustee opposed the delay while a second declared this was the last such vote he would ever make.
This has been a hard project from day one. And day one was more than a decade ago. Environmental contamination of the site, the real estate collapse of 10 years ago, an otherwise successful developer who could never get traction, and — the current explanation — a retail tenant who went to court over being pushed out. All have been used to describe why a new project on perhaps River Forest’s most notable site has been stymied.
The extension is a short one. The new deadline for pulling building permits is mid-December. Obstacles remain. Soil remediation is not complete. Financing is not locked in. Pre-sales are not exceptional.
And the patience of the village board is dwindling.