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Homewood enters into letter of intent with developer interested in building on village hall parking lot

Editor’s note: A number of residents attended the Homewood board meeting Tuesday to learn more about and question the project, and 10 of them made comments. More stories will follow to describe the questions and issues raised by residents.

With the Hartford Building nearing completion in downtown Homewood, the developers of that project are preparing to turn their attention to their next Homewood project, a five-story, 59-unit residential building with interior parking.

At the July 25 board meeting, Homewood trustees approved a letter of intent that gives HCF Homewood II LLC 90 days to conduct due diligence work prior to purchasing a section of the village hall parking lot at 2024 Chestnut Road. Trustee Anne Colton voted against the measure. Mayor Rich Hofeld voted in favor, making the result 4 to 1. Trustees Lisa Purcell and Lauren Roman were absent. 

Homewood village hall is on the right in this photo taken from the southwest corner of the parking lot at 2024 Chestnut Road. The village has entered into a letter of intent with development firm HCF Homewood II to explore the possibility of constructing a five-story, 59-unit residential building on the lot. (Eric Crump/H-F Chronicle)

The project attracted a crowd to the meeting, with a number of residents asking questions about how the plans would affect parking, schools and the village’s aesthetic. Developers Tim Flanagan and Mark Carlson offered a general description of their early plans.

In accordance with state law, the village invited alternative bids for the property in May 2022. No alternative proposals were submitted.

The letter includes nine provisions, according to a memo from  Economic and Community Development Director Angela Mesaros. 

  1. The developer will purchase and redevelop the property with an appropriately-zoned use, which shall consist of a residential apartment building with amenities and parking.
  2. The purchase price is $1.
  3. The developer has 90 days to perform due diligence.
  4. The village would not negotiate with other parties during this due diligence period.
  5. The developer would be given access to the property.
  6. If the developer decides to proceed with this project, the developer and the village will enter into a redevelopment agreement for the sale and redevelopment of the property, which will include a reverter deed to reconvey the property to the village if the developer fails to redevelop the property as agreed.
  7. The village agrees to provide reimbursement of the developer’s TIF-eligible expenses incurred before the sale only if the developer proceeds with the project.
  8. The village shall convey the property to the purchaser by special warranty deed, by July 1, 2024.
  9. Earnest money of $1 is required upfront from the developer, but if the developer decides not to develop the property, they are responsible for their due diligence costs.

“The sale of the property will result in the redevelopment of a property that is ideally located in
proximity to the Metra station,” Mesaros said in the memo. “The benefit of such a development is that it brings more residents to the downtown that will frequent the restaurants and stores, increases overall property values in the vicinity, and strengthens and enhances the village’s tax base.”

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