A photo of the abandoned auto dealership the Village of Maywood is looking to acquire at 415 Roovelt Rd. | Village of Maywood
Saturday, May 21, 2016 || By Michael Romain
An abandoned auto dealership on the corner of Roosevelt Road and Fifth Avenue, along with some surrounding parcels, could soon become owned by the Village of Maywood if the board of trustee’s push to acquire the properties goes through.
The building, located at 415 Roosevelt Rd., was most recently home to West Suburban Auto Group before it closed nine years ago. Since then, the owners of the property have allowed the taxes to fall into delinquency.
The Maywood Board of Trustees is in the process of acquiring five parcels that board members say is integral to spurring the economic redevelopment of the properties. The village is attempting to acquire the properties through the Cook County No Cash Bid Program, which is administered by the Cook County Department of Economic Development.
The program is designed to help local governments acquire tax delinquent properties for private and public redevelopment purposes.
“By assisting the municipalities in the process of acquiring certificates of purchase, Cook County government is able to help revive areas with new housing and business ventures,” Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle noted in a statement about the program last October. “These projects potentially generate new property and sales tax from parcels that were once drains on municipal resources.”
The village has been in the process of acquiring the properties since at least July 2013, when the board signed a resolution requesting and authorizing the county to submit a no-cash bid that would allow the village to purchase the properties’ delinquent tax deeds.
In addition to the auto dealership, the village is also attempting to acquire the vacant auto repair garage and vacant lot annexing the dealership at 2120 S. 5th Avenue.
Top left: the northern most portion of the abandoned car dealership. Top right: the dealership’s abandoned west corner. Bottom: the abandoned auto car repair shop at 2120 S. 5th Ave. | Village of Maywood
County property tax records show that no property taxes have been paid on the auto dealership, its surrounding lots and the abandoned auto repair garage since 2014. The delinquent taxes on the properties — which include five separate property pin numbers — totals more than $415,000, records show. The county’s total estimated value of the properties the village is seeking to acquire amounts to around $563,000.
“At this time there hasn’t been any approved plans from this board for the actual use of the property once it comes into the inventory,” said Angela Smith, Maywood’s economic development coordinator, at a May 11 Legal, License and Ordinance Committee meeting.
Smith said once the property is in village possession, officials will start considering redevelopment proposals that they’ll present before the board. The owners of the properties are due in court on July 6, Smith noted.
Trustee Michael Rogers urged village staff members to start thinking about plans for the property’s redevelopment early.
“I would expect the department and the planning commission to formally come with some thoughts about a number of things,” Rogers said at the May 11 LLOC meeting.
“Our new planner, whenever [that person] comes aboard, should also make that a priority project [and] be in position to give the board some recommendations on some of the better uses [for those parcels. We’ve got some time to get out in front of that.”
Trustee Antoinette Dorris recommended that village officials consider the potential of one of the parcels, perhaps the abandoned auto repair garage, becoming a police sub-station.
At the insistence of Maywood Police Chief Valdimir Talley, the board had been in talks of putting a police sub-station in one or more of the village’s high crime areas, which includes the area near the corner of Roosevelt Rd. and Fifth Avenue.
Last year, the village allocated about $53,000 in the proposed FY 2015-16 budget to pay for phase one costs associated with installing a police sub-station somewhere in the vicinity of Fifth Avenue and Roosevelt Road. Another $5,000 was allocated for a site study. All of the costs were to be covered with Roosevelt Road TIF money
Since then, however, talk of a possible sub-station had stalled until the possibility was brought up again during budget hearings last month.
“This board has spoken about the sub-station for quite some time,” Dorris told Smith. “There hasn’t been a formal proposal, so if we know we are going to move in that direction to take ownership of that property, then you have to have your staff begin to put a proposal together so once that ink is dry we can begin to do what we’ve been talking about for that piece of property.”
Smith noted that the village doesn’t know what condition the properties are currently in or whether they’ll need environmental remediation.
“You get what you get,” she said, before Rogers urged staff members to find out about the properties’ sub-surface conditions soon “so we know what we’re in for.”
Board approves agreements with Union Pacific Railroad and Metra, moving needle on Fifth Ave. Metra Station
At a May 11 special board meeting, the Maywood Board of Trustees approved a lease between the village and the Union Pacific Railroad, a permanent easing agreement with Metra and a wire-line agreement with UP — actions that greased the wheels of a four-year process to build a train depot at the Fifth Avenue Metra station.
The proposed $2.3 million station has been in the works at least since 2011, when the village applied for a Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement Program (CMAQ) grant to secure funds for the station’s construction.
In January, Mark Lucas, the village engineer, said that bids for the station’s constructions need to be put out this year — possibly before Oct. 1, the start of the next federal fiscal year — in order for the village to maintain its CMAP funding.
“This is the next step in getting your train station project moving and keeping it on track,” said village attorney Michael Jurusik. VFP
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