Maywood Forms Committee To Explore Redeveloping Former Golf Driving Range

Sunday, October 28, 2018 || By Michael Romain || @maywoodnews 

Featured image: The former Bushwood Golf Practice Center and Driving Range, which the village is looking to redevelop. | File 

The village of Maywood recently formed a committee to explore developing the former Bushwood Golf Practice Center and Driving Range at 30 Madison St. in Maywood, right next door to Village Hall — perhaps into a municipal-owned parking lot or a space filled with solar panels.

During a regular meeting on Oct. 16, board members voted unanimously to acquire the property from the Cook County Land Bank Authority for municipal use and to establish a board committee that will explore redeveloping the property. Trustee Ron Rivers was absent.

Trustees Isiah Brandon, Melvin Lightford, Henderson Yarbrough and Mayor Perkins all volunteered to sit on the committee. Perkins said that she’ll explore if citizens are also allowed to be members of the committee.

The 320,000-square-foot former golf center was owned by Rick Hanson of Bushwood, LLC, which owes at least $517,000 on the property, Cook County land records show. The golf center opened in 2003 and closed roughly a decade later.

“If we go through the Land Bank, we won’t have to pay the taxes,” said Maywood Mayor Edwenna Perkins during the Oct. 16 meeting.

Maywood Trustee Melvin Lightford recommended that the village install solar panels on the sloped property, which used to be a landfill before Hanson turned it into a driving range. Before closing the facility, Hanson also held music concerts inside of the venue.

Angela Smith, the village’s business coordinator, said that if nobody moves to redeem the taxes on the property by Nov. 15, then the village will move to acquire the property for redevelopment.

Smith said that if the village does seek to acquire the property through the Land Bank, it won’t be able to turn the property over to a private developer.

The village has been trying to acquire the Bushwood site for a few years. Last October, Village Free Press reported, the board voted unanimously to direct staff to begin the process of taking over the tax certificate from the Land Bank, which acquired the certificate in a scavenger sale last summer.

At the time, the village staff also presented to the board the option of allowing the Land Bank to take the deed to the property and sell it to a private developer for redevelopment.

That scenario, staff said, would have been hindered by the environmental problems associated with the property.

If no one redeems the taxes, Smith said, she’ll eventually go “to court to testify that this [property] is becoming a nuisance to our community” and that the village would benefit from allowing the local government to redevelop the site. VFP 

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3 thoughts on “Maywood Forms Committee To Explore Redeveloping Former Golf Driving Range”

  1. The village is acquiring these properties, but what is the benefits to the community? Where is the money coming from to buy them and who benefits? Is this what the people want done with thier tax money? I think that we should focus on fixing problems that are in existence, like our water pipes, streets and town safty before throwing money at empty car lots. Priorities should be addressed!! We the citizens do not want to maintain properties, we want tax paying occupants!! Stop milking us the citizens for stupid investment!! Thousands of dollars where put into the soldiers widow home and yet we wait to reap the benefits of the investment. Incompetence and reckless spending is the only transparency reflacted here!! Much love to all.

  2. It would great if district 209, Maywood, famous and wealthy alumni and proviso township would acquire the land and build a multi use facility for proviso east. Maywood has its hand full with its properties and problems already. The school could use it. Games, graduations, etc.

  3. The Village has the capacity to acquire the property from the County at no cost under the No Cash Bid program; all the back taxes would be voided. Whether the Village chooses to do so itself or through the Land Bank doesn’t matter.
    The Village will only have to pay the legal fees for the tax deed process, and that can take 2 years. Considering how much the Village pays to Klein, Thorpe & Jenkins every month you’d hope the firm would throw in its services for free.
    What happens after that is anybody’s guess.
    The Village literally owns hundreds of properties that it picked-up for nothing; nearly all for delinquent taxes. How long have these lots been owned by the Village and what has gotten done with them should be looked into to determine the effectiveness of the local government’s redevelopment initiatives.
    Recently, the Village approved the sale of land to the cycle company on Maywood Drive, and that was a good thing. But, the Village and Land Bank have a vacant substandard lot for sale on 20th Avenue at $5,000; who would pay that much for it. The lot is too small to build on, and that is a bad thing. How many more lots are there?
    Bushwood is on a landfill so you can’t build on it. However, depending on the footings needed to mount the solar panels that could be a great re-use.
    The Hanson brothers had a good idea too, it is unfortunate that it didn’t pan out for them and the Village.

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