The properties located at the southeast corner of Elm Street and Lincoln Avenue, the site of the previously proposed One Winnetka development, remain privately owned, and any issues relating to their maintenance or sale are matters for the property owner. Since August 2019, the owner’s lender has been in foreclosure proceedings to secure ownership of the property. A call for offers soliciting bids for the property was released as part of the foreclosure process in 2020. The Village has learned that ten developers submitted bids for the site, and that the lender signed a letter of intent and purchase and sale agreement with Hoffman Commercial Real Estate to purchase the property. However, the Village has since learned that the purchase and sale agreement has been terminated. The lender continues to move through the foreclosure process on the property. That process could take several more months.
While the Village waits for the foreclosure process to be completed, we continue to pursue property maintenance violations with the current property owner through the circuit court system. The court previously ordered the property owner to make public safety improvements for fire detection systems and monitoring to be implemented during the fall of 2019. The circuit court judge has required the remedy of public safety-related items but not aesthetic improvements or broader maintenance items. The lender authorized the court-appointed receiver to address other specific maintenance items. The court has continued consideration of the property maintenance items as the property has moved through the foreclosure process. The Village continues to request that the court enforce the Village’s property maintenance codes on the property.
One Winnetka Development Approvals Repealed
On August 6, 2019, Winnetka’s Village Council voted unanimously to repeal approvals for the One Winnetka development project due to the developer’s non-compliance with the development agreement and zoning approvals.
The development agreement required that the developer provide a third-party financial guaranty of completion on or before November 18, 2018. It also required the developer to close on the Conney’s Pharmacy property and record the Plat of Subdivision no later than June 29, 2019. Both deadlines were missed, and caused a default of the agreement.
“Under all of the zoning approvals, the developer’s failure to meet the Plat of Subdivision date authorizes the Village Council to terminate their approvals,” said Peter Friedman, Village Attorney, before the Council voted to repeal the zoning approvals on August 6. “Section 13 of the development agreement says that the development agreement terminates automatically if the zoning approvals must terminate.”