The Forest Park Village Council spent nearly an hour in closed session Monday night to discuss a recently received land purchase offer from the West Cook YMCA, but no decisions were made concerning the potential sale.
The YMCA is looking to purchase about seven acres of the village-owned Altenheim property in hopes of moving to Forest Park from its current Oak Park location.
According to Commissioner Patrick Doolin, what the village has on the table at this point is essentially a “basic letter of intent,” and numerous details must be worked out before any decisions can be reached.
“It’s like a tennis match”everyone keeps volleying back and forth”but at least we now have something in black and white,” he said.
Doolin commented that though he is hopeful the village will be able to work out a deal with the YMCA, he predicted it might take “a year or more” before anything is set in stone.
“There are significant needs on the Y’s part in terms of addressing their capital, including the sale of their current property,” said Doolin, who added that several infrastructure issues still needed to be addressed.
“This isn’t like putting an offer in on a house and closing 60 days later,” he said.
The village-owned portion of the Altenheim property measures about 11 acres, but only 8 acres are developable, of which the village is willing to sell about 6 or 7 acres.
The village plans to keep the “grove” area of the property, used for events such as the “Groovin’ in the Grove” summer concert series, as permanent village-owned green space.
The land was first purchased by the village in 2001 for $3.6 million from the German Old People’s Home, a not-for-profit agency. The YMCA began expressing interest in the land after the Oak Park ZBA rejected an expansion plan for its current facility at 255 S. Marion St. in 2004.