The Lake and Lathrop development is seen on Saturday, Jan. 22, in River Forest. | Alex Rogals

After closing on a construction loan and with a full building permit issued, the developer of the Lake and Lathrop project in River Forest now has 18 months to finish construction.

Village officials reported that the developer, Lake Lathrop Partners LLC, and its financial partner, Wintrust Community Bank, had closed on the construction loan Feb. 2, two days before the Feb. 4 deadline set by the River Forest Village Board Jan. 24.   Elected officials reached consensus in an executive session during the Jan. 24 village board meeting to grant an 11-day extension to Lake Lathrop Partners and Wintrust in response to a request for more time due to complications associated with the coronavirus pandemic that Wintrust had encountered.

Officials released the full building permit after Lake Lathrop Partners paid $170,000 to the village, the balance due on the permit fee, stating that the developer had met all of the bona fide construction requirements under the approved final amendment to the redevelopment agreement approved by the village board in October. 

When officials ratified in October an ordinance approving the third amendment to the second amended and related redevelopment agreement, the developer was given until Jan. 23 to meet five specific requirements including obtaining construction financing. With the first pouring of concrete in January, the other four requirements were met.

This project has been on the drawing board since before the village board approved in 2018 the proposal by Lake Lathrop Partners to build a four-story, mixed-use development containing 22 condominium units and 14,000 square feet of retail space. Variations on the same project had lurched and lingered for a decade previously.

The original project included another story and eight more units but was scaled back.

The project experienced a series of delays over the years, including environmental cleanup from a dry cleaners formerly on the site and a lawsuit involving a tenant who did not want to move.

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