Category: Real Estate

Village Officials Say They’re Moving Fast to Tear Down Hazardous Properties

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An abandoned auto repair shop on the 1100 block of South 17th Ave., which is slated for fast-track demolition. | Village of Maywood

Wednesday, July 12, 2017 || By Michael Romain || @maywoodnews 

During a July 12 Legal, License and Ordinance Committee meeting, Maywood village officials said that they’re getting closer to executing a measure unanimously approved by the Board of Trustees in March to put 12 hazardous properties in the village through the fast-track demolition process.

Fast-track demolition allows municipalities to bypass the courts and demolish properties, no higher than three stories that are “open and vacant and determined by the Village to be continuing hazard to the community,” according to a March memo drafted by the village’s contracted law firm, Klein, Thorpe & Jenkins.

Village officials provided an update on the demolition process after at least two residents complained about an abandoned auto repair shop located on the 1100 block of South 17th Ave. that was among the 12 properties slated for demolition.

Maywood Village Manager Willie Norfleet Jr. said that the former auto repair shop was the “location we caught [and arrested] our first official fly-dumper.” Norfleet said the person was throwing material inside of the boarded-up building. The suspect’s truck was also confiscated.

“Hopefully, [that building on 17th Ave.] comes down very shortly,” Norfleet said, adding that he hopes within the next 30 to 90 days.

Maywood Assistant Village Manager David Myers said that the village’s attorneys have begun the process of verifying the owners of the 12 properties and are working on sending out letters to those owners, which is required as part of the process.

“The process is still moving,” Myers said. “We have signs ordered. We just need the green light to start the demolition process.”

Attorney Michael Jurusik said that a program administered through the Cook County Sheriff’s office will actually carry out the demolitions, saving the village money. But the speediness in which the process is carried out could also depend on how long it takes the county to act, he said.

“We’re moving as fast as possible,” he said. “We’re doing the minimum due diligence necessary to make sure the property owners have minimal notice of what to do with the properties. Our ducks are all lined up in a row. We’ve approved everything we need to approve on our end.”

Other properties scheduled for fast-track demolition:

  • 1825 S. 22nd Ave. 
  • 1821 S. 21st Ave. 
  • 1420 S. 21st Ave.
  • 1304 S. 21st Ave. 
  • 1248 S. 21st Ave.
  • 419 S. 21st Ave. 
  • 1817 S. 20th Ave. 
  • 440 S. 14th Ave.
  • 1205 S. 16th Ave. 
  • 1242 S. 16th Ave.
  • 2108 S. 8th Ave. 

F E A T U R E D  E V E N TBusiness reception Detailed Flyer_July

 

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Developer Proposes to Build 68-unit Mixed-use Affordable Housing Complex on 5th Ave. in Maywood

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An architectural rendering of a proposed 68-unit apartment building, which ground-floor commercial space, that is being proposed for 800-820 S. 5th Ave. in Maywood. |

Screen Shot 2017-07-05 at 8.39.38 PMWednesday, July 5, 2017 || By Michael Romain || @maywoodnews

The nonprofit Interfaith Housing Development Corporation (IHDC) has proposed to construct a 68-unit apartment building that will include 4,500 square feet of ground-level commercial retail space on the site of a vacant lot at 800-820 S. 5th Ave. in Maywood, which is currently owned by the village.

According to an organization overview, IHDC’s mission is to “promote and develop long term affordable housing for low-income, underserved populations in collaboration with local communities.”

Over the 25 years that its been in existence, the nonprofit has created 16 housing developments that range from 15- to 135-unit projects, six of which involved renovating an existing structure and 10 of which were newly constructed developments. The budgets for those projects have ranged from $1.5 million to $22.4 million while the rental units have ranged “from efficiencies to large four-bedrooms.”

One of Interfaith’s more recent developments is Grove Apartments, a 51-unit affordable housing complex at the corner of Grove Ave. and Madison St. in Oak Park. Sugar Beet Food Co-op, a high-end grocery store and cafe, leases the first floor level.

The larger IHDC nonprofit created Interfaith Management Services in 2012 to “manage the portfolio of projects for which IHDC has an ownership interest,” according to the organization overview. The IMS manages 10 of the properties for which IHDC holds an ownership stake.

According to IHDC officials, the proposed development in Maywood will generate sales and property tax revenue since it will be held by a for-profit partnership. The new rental units will be available to single individuals and families. The building will be “very ‘green’,” and will include a solar hot water system.

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The vacant lot at 800-820 S. 5th Ave. in Maywood where Interfaith Housing Development Corporation is looking to build affordable housing. | Google Earth

IHDC officials said they’re willing to pay Maywood the full amount the land was appraised at. According to village documents, the land once was up for sale for $330,000, but it’s not known whether that price has changed or if it differs from the appraised value. Village officials were not available to comment on late Wednesday afternoon.

IHDC officials said that the project could amount to a more than $20 million investment in Maywood that “will bring jobs, housing and retail to downtown Maywood” and foot traffic to 5th Avenue, among other benefits. Officials also said that the development could bring in an estimated annual property tax revenue of around $60,000 to $70,000.

IHDC officials, who could not be reached for comment on Wednesday evening, presented their proposal at a June 14 Legal, License and Ordinance Committee (LLOC) meeting.

In an interview on Wednesday afternoon, Maywood Mayor Edwenna Perkins said that representatives of the nonprofit will be back to present more information to the Board of Trustees at a later date.

IHDC officials noted in their summary that if the village agrees on a purchase price sometime this summer, the project could be on its way to completion by fall 2019. VFP

The drawing of a proposed 68-unit apartment complex with parking lots at 800-820 S. 5th Ave.

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Ultra Foods on Roosevelt Rd. Could Be Vacant for Months

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The Ultra Foods in Forest Park Plaza, which recently closed. | William Camargo/Wednesday Journal 

Monday, June 3, 2017 || By Thomas Vogel/Forest Park Review || @maywoodnews 

Forest Park Mayor Anthony Calderone said at the village council’s June 26 meeting he is working to fill the former Ultra Foods site but Forest Parkers should not expect a new grocer anytime soon.

The store, in Forest Park Plaza, 7600 Roosevelt Rd., owned by Strack and Van Til, a regional grocer headquartered in Northwest Indiana, was one of nine locations that shuttered in June. The store employed 92 workers and, according to Forest Park Village Administrator Tim Gillian, brought in $130,000 in sales tax revenue in 2016.

“When a facility that size vacates, you know, it piques a tremendous amount of interest in the community,” Calderone said, referring to Ultra. “Sometimes, some individuals think that you can just turn around next week [and] find another retail grocer to go into that spot. I’m here to tell you it’s not that easy.”

Calderone added he recently met with one grocery store developer and the plaza’s ownership, Forest Park Plaza LLC, a for-profit entity of Living Word Christian Center, which is also in the mall. At that meeting, which was to “begin some conversations,” Calderone said the developer told him filling the site would “take the better part of a year” no matter which retailer fills the space.

Kim Gray, spokesperson for Living Word, declined to comment for this story.

“The whole landscape in kinda the big box grocery store is in flux right now,” Calderone told village commissioners. “The bigger grocery store operators are being very, very careful on the selection of where they are going to locate but I’m just bringing this to your attention to let you know that this is not being left unattended.”

Gillian echoed the mayor in a June 27 phone call saying big box retailers, such as Target, are scaling down and adding stores with smaller footprints. That trend, along with other grocery industry upheaval and uncertainty, like Amazon’s recent purchase of Whole Foods, might make the 75,000 square foot space harder to fill.

Gillian also reiterated the village, which does not own the property, is limited in what kind of tenant ends up filling the space.

But, Gillian said, the village would like to have a tenant that could generate significant sales tax revenue. For now, Calderone and the village will continue to facilitate communication between the building’s ownership and potential developers.

“We’ll always have our ears open,” Gillian said. “We’ll continue our conversations with the mall.”

Central Grocers, a Joliet-based cooperative, owns Strack and Van Til. As part of those closures, Central Grocers also sold off 22 other Strack stores.

“I just want you to know that we are going to continue to work with the ownership down there to try and keep things moving,” Calderone said. “But it’s not going to happen next week or even next month.” VFP

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Housing Forward’s Prevail Program Moves Offices | Broadview Company Expands

 

6632 W. Roosevelt Rd

The new offices for Housing Forward’s Prevail program and a Walk-In Center at 6632 W. Roosevelt Rd. in Oak Park | LoopNet

Tuesday, June 27, 2017 || By Community Editor || @maywoodnews || Updated: 7/14/17

Housing Forward, a social service agency headquartered in Maywood, has announced that Prevail — a program designed to provide support services and specialized employment resources for families in the western suburbs that “are experiencing an emergency financial crisis” — will move from its current location at First United Church of Oak Park to new offices at 6634 W. Roosevelt Rd. in Oak Park. The move will take place on July 5.

“Founded by area congregations 12 years ago, the Prevail Programs of Housing Forward (formerly the Walk-In Ministry) have been operating out of First United Church of Oak Park since the beginning,” according to a statement released by Housing Forward on June 27.

“We are endlessly grateful for their support in allowing us to operate rent-free for all those years”, stated Lynda Schueler, Housing Forward’s executive director.

According to the statement, the organization’s Prevail programs and services “have helped thousands of households with emergency financial assistance, short-term stability services and employment readiness programs to address their immediate financial and housing crisis and find jobs.

“Last year alone, that office was visited by 1,032 people representing $84,406 in financial support and more than 170 individuals accessing employment services.”

In addition to the Prevail program, the new Roosevelt Rd. location will also house a Walk-In Center, staffed by Housing Forward and designed to service west suburban clients.

The expansion comes after Housing Forward was chosen to lead a nine-agency partnership called Coordinated Entry, a new Cook County crisis system designed to make it easier for homeless people, or those at-risk of becoming homeless, to get the emergency services they need.

An open house will be held for the new offices, located on the second-floor of 6634 W. Roosevelt Rd., sometime in September. Housing Forward’s headquarters and daytime support center wills till operated out of 1851 S. 9th Ave. in Maywood.

For more information, visit www.housingforward.org.

Broadview company expands 

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A facility located at 2105 W. 21st St. in Broadview, where Printing Arts has leased nearly 47,000 square feet of additional space. | Submitted photo

Printing Arts, a printing production and materials storage company based in Broadview, recently signed an agreement to lease nearly 47,000 square feet at 2105 W. 21st St., a facility that’s nearly 121,000 square feet.

“The lease represents an expansion for Printing Arts, which currently occupies an adjacent building,” according to statement released by Darwin Realty, the real estate brokerage and property development firm that represented the building’s owner, Welbic III Broadview 21 LLC, while working closely with Printing Arts during the transaction.

“We are pleased to able to accommodate the growing space needs of this valued tenant,” stated Mandy Lewandowski, a Darwin Realty associate. VFP

Advertising from a valued partner 

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Maywood Checkers Shuttered | Maywood Church, Seeking to Expand, Confronts Officials Worried About Losing Taxes

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IMG_5552Saturday, April 29, 2017 || By Michael Romain || @maywoodnews || Updated: 3:55 p.m.

Less than three years after it first opened in September 2014, the Checkers at 1718 S. First Ave. in Maywood is closed.

The closure seems rather abrupt, considering the store location still has a Facebook page that was active up until March 28 and the location is still listed on the company’s online database of locations.

In a phone interview on Saturday, Trustee Isiah Brandon said that Checkers officials contacted village officials Monday with the news that the store was closing. They also sent an email, he said. Company officials cited low sales as a contributing factor, Brandon added.

In a 2014 interview, Christopher Ilekis, a principal at Vequity, the real estate investment and development company that bought the property before leasing it to Checkers, said that the property, which had formerly been a KFC restaurant, had been in bankruptcy before his company acquired it in a portfolio sale.

The Maywood store opened on the same day as the Broadview checkers, located at 1617 W. Roosevelt Rd. The latter location is still open. The Maywood store, along with the Broadview store, was corporately owned and operated.

No one from Checkers or Vequity could be contacted for comment over the weekend. More as this story develops.

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Maywood church, seeking expansion, runs into village concerns over taxes 

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Screen Shot 2017-04-29 at 2.04.28 PMA Maywood church seeking to expand its operations into an area that’s zoned commercial while maintaining property tax exemption encountered some wariness among some village officials at an April 26 Legal, License and Ordinance Committee (LLOC) meeting.

The New Hope Christian Center Church, 14 S. 19th Ave., wants to buildout and modify existing unoccupied commercial space at 2 South 19th Ave., which is separated from the church facility by a vacant, fenced-in lot. The church owns both properties.

New Hope plans to turn the commercial space into theNew Hope Empowerment Center, an “educational agency” that would “focus on teaching Christian principles, as well as academics and technology values to individuals of all ages,” according to project summary released by the church’s pastor, Bishop Anthony G. Wellington.

According to a business plan that Wellington submitted on behalf of his church, the new facility would host weekly job training sessions, prayer meetings, “biblical guidance sessions” and “biblical enhancement sessions.”

But village staff members and some board members stated that they’re worried that “this project may be an expansion of the [tax-exempt] church into the C2 Pedestrian Oriented Commercial District,” according to an April 26 village memo written by Josh Koonce, the village’s planning and zoning officer.

“In fact,” Koonce states, “Mr. Wellington has indicated that the purpose of the new development is to expand the capacity and footprint of the church.”

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At Wednesday’s LLOC meeting, Trustee Michael Rogers expressed some reservations over the village allowing the church to turn the commercial property, which currently generates commercial property taxes, into tax-exempt property.

“The whole concept of our [taking the] limited commercial property that we have off the tax rolls is problematic,” Rogers said.

“That zone, when you cross the tracks, is called Broadway. That’s a heavy commercial usage. The non-conforming uses already there are grandfathered in, but it’s important not to lose any more commercial property with the straits that the village is in.”

Rogers said that, despite his reservations, the church’s proposal should be vetted by the village’s Planning Commission and Zoning Board of Appeal. Trustee Henderson Yarbrough echoed Rogers’s sentiments.

“I have the same concerns that Trustee Rogers just mentioned,” he said. “With this going to the planning and zoning board, hopefully these questions will be answered during that period of time. We look forward to their recommendations.”

Wellington’s attorney, however, said that the church’s proposal represents the “highest and best” use of the abandoned commercial space, which used to be a paint store.

“Any other commercial use would be an island on that corner,” he said.

The board voted unanimously on village staff’s recommendation to move the proposal to the Planning Commission and Zoning Board of Appeal.

According to the village memo, that board will be responsible for determining “whether the proposal fits within the definition of Educational Facility, Vocational School or Training Academy (a special use in the C-2 district – Section 17.4 and Table 8-1 of the Village of Maywood Zoning Ordinance), or if this proposal constitutes an expansion of a church into a commercial district (not permitted).” VFP

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A Grocery Store Looks to Open Inside Former Maywood Market

Maywood Market

The former Maywood Market, located at 615 S. 5th Ave., which closed in 2011. | Google Earth

Thursday, April 27, 2017 || By Michael Romain || @maywoodnews

Less than six months after Aldi — Maywood’s only full-service grocery store — closed, another grocer is looking to move into the village.

Ali Hamden, an entrepreneur who has owned and operated a range of different businesses over the last 25 years, is looking to open a grocery store, Save More Fresh Market, inside of the building that once housed the former Maywood Market, located at 615 S. 5th Ave. Maywood Market closed in 2011 after fewer than two years in operation.

Unlike Aldi, the Germany-based international discount grocery store that closed its Maywood location at 215 Madison Street in December, Hamden is an independent entity who, since 1988, has owned and operated a 7-Eleven, a string of neighborhood grocers and two gas stations.

He also buys, fixes, and either holds or re-sells single family homes, multifamily buildings and commercial properties. Hamden, who owns AH Group, is currently in negotiations to open a Save-A-Lot grocery store in the Chicago area and a 15,000-square-foot Save More Fresh Market grocery store in Chicago’s Uptown neighborhood.

According to a letter of intent filed in January, Hamden has offered to pay $400,000 for the 22,000 square foot building, which is located on a roughly 61,000 square foot paved lot. Maywood owns both the building and the lot.

The Pearson Realty Group, the village’s contracted broker, suggested that the building and lot be listed at $595,000 and estimated that they could probably fetch between $505,000 and $545,000 in a final sale.

At an April 26 Legal, License and Ordinance Committee (LLOC) meeting, Hamden said that his offer “only reflects the fact that we have been through [the building] only once.” He said he didn’t know the condition of the roof. Hamden’s letter of intent states that his offer “reflects the fact that significant electrical repairs need to be made.”

This year, the village budgeted $30,000 to maintain the former Maywood Market. In the past, village officials have reported on numerous acts of vandalism that have taken place on the premises.

Hamden is asking for a Class 8 tax abatement, which would significantly lower the amount that he pays in property taxes on the store and surrounding lot each year. According to village data, the taxes owed on the facility and the lot totaled over $230,000 in 2013. A Class 8 incentive would have lowered that amount to around $87,000.

Hamden estimates that the village could realize $60,000 a year in property tax revenue and $40,000 a year in sales tax revenue, which would total around $1.6 million over 10 years.

According to preliminary projections provided by Hamden, Save More Fresh Market could generate between $3 million and $4.7 million in sales revenue each year. Hamden said that he’ll utilize all of the square footage that was utilized by Maywood Market, including the bakery and hot food areas.

In addition, Hamden said, his store will produce its own brand of specialized products that will sell in both the Maywood and Uptown stores.

“This will give us a good opportunity to compete with big stores around us,” Hamden said. “I’m looking for a bigger facility. We need a warehouse and want an easier way to operate trucks. We’ll have a full line of meat, produce, grocery and non-grocery items. We will not sell liquor or tobacco. We are strictly a supermarket for the community.”

Hamden’s AH Group had secured a loan of up to $700,000 from Chicago Bridge Loan, which would be used to finance the acquisition of the property.

Hamden isn’t the only prospect that has been attracted to the former Maywood Market.

In an interview earlier this year, Village Manager Willie Norfleet Jr., said that roughly three other suitors had expressed interest in the property, including EATS Groceries owner Thom Alcazar, who describes EATS as a “concierge-type shopping experience.”

In an interview in February, Alcazar said that the majority of EATS would be warehouse space, with customers making orders from kiosks or from their homes or businesses, since EATS would also entail delivering groceries to various locations. At the time, however, Alcazar had not made an offer on the Maywood property.

After Wednesday’s LLOC meeting, village board members went into executive session to discuss Hamden’s offer. The negotiations between the village and Hamden are ongoing. VFP

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Maywood, Bellwood Losing Millions of Dollars in Unpaid Property Taxes | Vacant Lots for Sale

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Sunday, February 5, 2017 || By Michael Romain || @maywoodnews || Updated: 9:01 a.m.

This Sunday, the Chicago Sun-Times published a partial list of the more than 66,000 properties in Cook County with unpaid property taxes.

According to a Feb. 3 article published on the Sun-Times’ website, the listing is released in “preparation for an April auction that allows investors to buy unpaid property taxes from delinquent property owners countywide.”

More property listings are supposed to be published on Feb. 8 and Feb. 9, the article notes. The tax sale, which is facilitated by Cook County Treasurer Maria Pappas, “will auction almost $212 million worth of taxes that went unpaid in tax year 2015 by owners of residential and commercial properties as well as vacant lots, according to an official with the treasurer’s office.”

Included among the 66,109 properties (which comprise a total of $212 million in unpaid taxes) are 1,457 properties in Proviso Township (for a township total of $8.62 million in unpaid taxes).

Nearly 26 percent (374) of Proviso Township’s delinquent properties are located in Maywood, which has a total of $1.7 million in unpaid property taxes represented in the Sun-Times listing. Bellwood contains roughly 15 percent (216) of those delinquent properties, for a total of $1.53 million in unpaid property taxes.

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Graphic: Chicago Sun-Times

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Chart: Village Free Press

The following are the commercial/industrial properties in Bellwood, Broadview, Maywood and Melrose Park with the highest tax delinquencies on the Sun-Times’ delinquent property tax list (all are for tax year 2015):

  • 110 S. 25th Ave., Bellwood | Golden Lake Real Estate | $223,448.23
  • 1812 Roosevelt Rd., Broadview | HB Owens Investments | $37,546.44
  • 1000 St. Charles Rd., Maywood | Tri-Star Surplus | $49,592.37
  • 110 N. 25th Ave., Melrose Park | Golden Lake Real Estate | $443,092.89

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Top to bottom: The most tax delinquent commercial/industrial properties in Bellwood, Broadview, Maywood and Melrose Park. Photos are from the Cook County Property Tax Portal

In addition to that tax sale (properties in Proviso Township will go on sale on April 4), two more sales are scheduled to happen in July and December, the Sun-Times notes.

“Two other similar sales are set to start later this year: the 2017 “tax scavenger” sale in July, and the sale of property taxes that went unpaid in 2016, which is set for December, said Madre Belmer, a tax examiner in the Cook County Clerk’s office. ‘There are three tax sales this year, and that’s unprecedented,’ he said.”

Anyone seeking to purchase delinquent taxes is required to register for the auction “between Feb. 10 and March 24 at CookTaxSale.com or by contacting the treasurer’s office at (877) 361-7325. The sale will begin April 3. Buyers can purchase a real-time list of the taxes for sale for $250.”

To read the full Sun-Times article, click here.

Cook County Land Bank Selling Vacant Lots

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A screenshot of the Cook County Land Bank’s interactive property viewer showing the many tax-delinquent vacant lots the bank is selling in Maywood. 

In an attempt to put some of Cook County’s tax-delinquent vacant lots to use, the Cook County Land Bank is selling more than 4,400 of those lots. The prices range between $3,000 and $5,000.

According to a recent Chicago Tribune article, “Many of the lots have sat vacant for a decade or more, and are among 8,000 tax-delinquent properties the land bank aims to sell to local developers, not-for-profits, block clubs and community organizations to help revive neighborhoods hit by the foreclosure crisis and the decline of manufacturing.”

At least 14 of those parcels are in Bellwood, more than 50 are located in Maywood and a couple are in Melrose Park. For info on those particular lots, visit the land bank’s interactive map identifying those parcels.

To apply for any of these parcels, visit the land bank’s website here. To read the entire Tribune article, click here. VFP

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