With the clock ticking, Mark McKinney, project manager of the Lake and Lathrop development, told River Forest officials Monday that his firm is “working diligently” on securing financing and meeting other conditions by Sept. 15 to avoid the village revoking the building permit and issuing a stop-work order.

McKinney appeared at the Village Board meeting Monday as part of an agreement tied to action by officials at their Aug. 28 village board meeting to grant the developer, Sedgwick Properties, a building permit extension, the latest in a string of extensions. Whereas the extension runs through Aug. 30, 2024, it comes with a series of conditions that must be met by Sept. 15.

The long-delayed condominium project has been on life support since April when Beverly Bank and Trust, which is financing the development, filed suit against Sedgwick Properties. Through the lawsuit, filed in Cook County court, the Wintrust-affiliated bank is looking to claw back $4.2 million from the $20 million line of credit it issued in 2022. In the lawsuit, the lender has reportedly cited several provisions in its loan agreement with Sedgwick affiliates that were violated, including that the contract required the borrower to stay in compliance with local regulations and to stick to a tighter construction timeline.

Securing viable financing and providing proof of such financing to the village is the top condition Sedgwick Properties faces by Sept. 15. In addition, the developer also must resolve the pending litigation with Beverly Bank and Trust. Other conditions are paying the village $98,905.32 for the permit extension fee and paying $21,000 in unpaid property taxes. If any of the conditions are not met, the village will revoke the permit and issue a stop-work order.

In addition, Sedgwick Properties has agreed to provide a construction update at each regularly scheduled village board meeting until certificates of occupancy are issued for all residential units. In addition, the developer must obtain certificates of occupancy for all residential units by the August 2024 permit deadline. If work is required beyond the deadline, Sedgwick Properties must pay $197,810.64 for a three-month permit extension. If work is required beyond the deadline, the developer must pay $36,000 in outstanding fines owed to the village. If they hit the deadline, that amount will be reduced to $2,000.

The project has been on the drawing board since before the village board approved, in 2016, the proposal by Lake Lathrop Partners LLC to build a four-story, mixed-use development containing 22 condominium units with 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 has experienced a series of delays over the years, including environmental cleanup from the dry cleaner and a lawsuit involving a tenant who did not want to leave.

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