Over the years, the village has expressed its interest (more than once) in the parcel of federally owned property on Roosevelt Road, just west of Harlem Avenue.
Yes, we’re talking about the Army Reserve Center, at 7402 Roosevelt Rd. And, after staying out of the news for over a year (as there is no indication the Army is going anywhere), the village has started to talk about the base again.
Hold on, don’t get excited. Like we said (and we’re echoing Village Administrator Tim Gillian), the fed has no immediate intent to sell.
The village has rightly focused on this property for a long time: it’d be nice to get a residential development and/or commercial property on the tax rolls.
Back in 2009, Forest Park received a $50,000 grant from the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity to hatch some type of plan for the property, should it become available.
And, finally, two years later, that money is being put to use. The village recently hired Wills Burke Kelsey Associates, Ltd., a planning and engineering company, to study the property and dream up ideas for future use.
Hiring a planning and engineering firm to hatch future plans – it might not have been a bad idea to at least entertain bids for the job, though – is a great idea. It’s proactive, and it means the village will be in a good position to attract investment, if, say, a developer shows interest in the property in the future, or should a grant opportunity come along.
If the Army does leave, any number of things could happen, in terms of the village’s involvement with this property – more than we’re currently aware of.
But, since “there’s a multitude of possibilities,” as Gillian recently told us, it’s a good thing that the village is planning – for whatever the future holds.
A transparent park district
And the Roos saga continues. That’s basically what audience members who came to last week’s town hall meeting at the park district were told.
The town hall was intended to keep the public abreast of what is happening with the park district’s efforts to purchase the neighboring Roos property.
Unfortunately, those in attendance were given next to no news, as little has happened on the park district’s end, according to park district officials and their lawyers.
The park district seems to be at the mercy of a mortgage-holding bank that is hesitant to foreclose, likely because it believes the debtor is not penniless. In other words, Harris Bank likely thinks failed developer Alex Troyanovsky (who has been MIA for some time) has a stash of money somewhere, and he owes the bank quite a bit of cash.
It seems that the park district’s only option right now is to wait until the matter is resolved – whenever that is.
Aside from that, we commend the park district for holding this meeting, despite the fact that little has happened with this deal in the last year. It was an exercise in transparency, and we’re glad they did it.