When the Village took precipitous action against us by passing an ordinance allowing the Village President to purchase the property by eminent domain then refused to meet with us to discuss this potential action, our otherwise well-advanced funding was forced out by the uncertainty of ownership. We were otherwise ready, willing, able and capable to develop the subject property.
Over the past month, the Lincolnwood Board of Trustees has debated and passed an Ordinance authorizing the Village Board President to make a bona fide offer to purchase the property at Touhy and Lincoln Avenues. This Ordinance is commonly understood to be the first step of a potential eminent domain proceeding. The Board’s motivations for this action have been described as a desire to better control the development process and skepticism regarding the ability of our fee developer – Z|S Development.
Since the initial announcement of the proposed ordinance in mid-February, the development process has been put on hold to re-underwrite the risk to our investors. We cannot responsibly invest additional capital toward expensive planning and analysis efforts until the intentions of the Village of Lincolnwood are understood. We feel our development team should be allowed to proceed through the same, standard, codified process as any other developer, without the threat that the Village Board President might, at any time, begin a process that leads towards condemnation, rendering our investment into further planning lost. At Lincolnwood’s March 20th Committee of the Whole meeting, we asked that the Village to remove this Ordinance and allow the process to begin as originally agreed with Village staff and outlined in the Village code, or to make their bona fide offer. If neither of those is amenable to the Village, a third option would be for the Village to provide a list of acceptable developers so we may hire a fee developer that is acceptable to the Village.
On March 6, 2018 the Village Board of Lincolnwood passed an Ordinance Authorizing Negotiations and Final Bona Fide Offers to Purchase Title to Certain Real Property Located at 4500 – 4560 W. Touhy Avenue and 7350 N. Lincoln. This the first step in potential lengthy and expensive condemnation process.
Timeline - PreContract
01/20/16 : Senior Lender recorded a Notice of Foreclosure
07/20/16: Z|S affiliate contacts lender to inquire about a potential note purchase
08/22/16: Z|S affiliate's first of seven (7) meetings over the course of the next 16 months with Lincolnwood officials and staff
01/25/18: Unable to assemble neighboring properties included in Village approved concept plan, Z|S moves forward with planning of the subject site
02/9/18: Village President contacts Z|S for a status update
02/11/18 Lincolnwood agrees to meeting with Z|S for February 20th.
02/14/18: Lincolnwood cancels Z|S meeting scheduled for February 20th. Village refuses to reschedule meeting with Z|S.
Why did Village wait until Z|S deposits went hard to cancel the scheduled meeting?
02/16/18: Village published agenda for 2/20/18 including a first steps in a potential condemnation action of the subject site.
02/19/18: President's Day National Holiday
02/20/18: Village Board discusses Ordinance Authorizing Offers to Purchase Title to subject property described below. Z|S makes public request to reschedule meeting that the Village canceled which had been scheduled for 2/20/18. Village refused to reschedule that meeting.
03/07/18: Z|S is invited to present to Committee of the Whole by Village Attorney via Seller's Attorney. Village advises that the presentation should, at a minimum, include (neither of which is consistent with Village description of process to Z|S at meeting on 06/07/2017: Ordinance 8.05 - Procedure "Planned Unit Development"):
A demonstration of the way in which the proposed development plan satisfies and complies with the comprehensive planning for the site that has been approved by the Village, including the 2017 Conceptual Site Plan, and
The amount and nature of economic incentive, if any, that will be requested of the Village as part of the proposed development plan
03/19/18: Z|S received multiple construction to permanent loan applications from Lender
85% Loan-to-Cost for a development consistent with 2017 Conceptual Site Plan
75% Loan-to-Cost for an aspirational development consistent with spirit of the 2017 Conceptual Site Plan
03/20/18: 6:30PM: Village Board Committee of the Whole meeting where Z|S shall make the requested presentation
03/22/18: Contract Purchaser requests follow-up meeting via email to Village to discuss moving forward under a number of potential alternatives and to address specific concerns raised by Village Board members
03/26/18: Having not received a response to the meeting request made on 03/22/18, the Contract Purchase resent the email request from 3/22/18 to the Village.
03/27/18: Contract Purchaser requests 30 minutes to address Committee of Whole
03/29/18: Contract Purchaser request to address the Committee of the Whole is denied formally by Village. Village refuses to schedule any meetings with with Contract Purchaser.
04/03/18: Contract Purchaser plans to attend Committee of Whole to speak for 3 minutes in public forum
04/03/18: Trustee Georjean Hlepas Nickell makes a motion at the Committee of the Whole to allow us to speak.