The Park District of Forest Park has reached an agreement in principle to acquire the Roos property from Harris Bank, but obstacles still remain and the deal is not yet final.

“We’re cautiously optimistic,” park board president Cathleen McDermott told the Review. “But there are hurdles that need to be addressed. It’s a lengthy process.”

Yet the park district is confident enough it’ll ultimately get the Roos property, it’s put out an invitation to bid for demolition of 7329 W. Harrison, the part of the Roos Building that faces Circle Avenue.

A mandatory pre-bid meeting will be held today, July 14, and bids will be opened at 10 a.m. July 28.

According to McDermott, putting the demolition contract out for bid doesn’t mean acquisition of the Roos property is a done deal.

“The purpose of going out to bid for demolition was just to keep the ball rolling,” McDermott said.

Harris Bank took possession of the 2.5-acre Roos property when it acquired the assets of Amcore Bank after Amcore was taken over this spring by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. Amcore had acquired the Roos property when it foreclosed on a failed loft and townhouse project there that it had financed. The agreement to purchase the property must still be approved by a judge.

“We’ve appointed a receiver to manage, and with court approval, sell the property,” said Harris Bank spokesman Patrick O’Herlihy.¬†“At present, we are working with the park district to find a solution that could potentially work for everyone.”

In February, voters passed a property tax increase referendum authorizing the park district to collect an additional 12 cents per $100 of assessed valuation on property in Forest Park and to use that additional revenue to acquire the long-empty Roos property that sits just east of The Park.

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