We report today that Fenwick High School and possibly the River Forest Park District are now in the mix with OPRF High School in bidding for Dominican University’s Priory Campus.
We’ve known from our first article on this topic back in June that zoning limits would make for a small pool of possible buyers but with 7 acres of open land available in our landlocked villages, that interest would be high within that small pool.
This could be a moment for creative collaboration. Some key points: Combine Dominican’s 7 acres with the 13 acres still owned by the Dominican Friars and long leased to Fenwick for athletic fields and you have 20 acres. Huge space by local standards. All three known bidders need and want more space for athletics. The Priory parcel is very oddly configured, sitting right in the middle of the acreage with no access point of its own and limited parking. While Dominican is motivated to sell, it isn’t in a rush and doesn’t need to maximize the sale price through a bidding war. The Dominican Friars, like all aging religious orders, may well be interested in liquidating their stake in the property.
So could the university play a role as a mediator among the interested parties and look at the parcel holistically? What does OPRF actually need? Fenwick? The park district has been looking for indoor rec space for decades.
Complicated? Sure. Impossible? Not hardly.