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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