southtownstar
CHARMING 
Weather Updates

Tinley Park extends deal that gives it say in development at 191st and Harlem

Updated: December 24, 2012 7:04AM



Tinley Park is paying another $6,250 to a school district to extend a land contract that allows the village to have a say in what some day will be built at 191st Street and Harlem Avenue.

The site, which Wal-Mart was interested in several years ago, will be a commercial development, officials said.

The village in 2009 entered into a two-year contract with Lincoln-Way Community High School District 210 to eventually buy land near the southwest corner of 191st and Harlem, depositing $50,000 to secure rights to buy the $7.5 million property.

Last year, the village deposited another $25,000 to extend the deal a year.

Tuesday night, the board agreed to pay $6,250 to extend the deal through March.

The village hopes to take control of the commercial zone on the southwest corner of the intersection and sell it to a developer. The $81,250 it has paid so far would go toward the purchase price if the village decides to buy the land, village manager Scott Niehaus said.

“That’s earnest money. If we ever close on the property, that will be considered a credit against the purchase price. Our intention here is that we are just a conduit. So if we end up paying the school district we’ll have a developer right behind us, ready to put their money in escrow so we can access that money and pass it through us,” Niehaus said.

“Our reason is for control. That way, we can kind of choose the developer and how the site looks and works. We continue to market it toward commercial retail use,” he said.

If a deal is not found by the deadline, it may be extended for 60 days without extra cost.

The site, a former sod farm, would be ideal for commercial development, village trustee Dave Seaman said, noting the busy Brookside Marketplace is just north of the site.

“We’re optimistic we can get something done in the short term. There’s been a bit more interest lately in the commercial markets. If we own it or have an option, we control the price and the zoning,” he said.

“Price is a big issue with developers. As you know, the price of land goes up when it looks like there’s a buyer, so we’re trying to keep it fair, to keep it manageable so there’s no (price) gouging,” Seaman said.

Being in Will County, with lower property taxes, and in a high-traffic area, the site would be ideal for commercial use, Mayor Ed Zabrocki said.

He said the site is about 75 acres, of which about a third is wetlands.



© 2014 Sun-Times Media, LLC. All rights reserved. This material may not be copied or distributed without permission. For more information about reprints and permissions, visit www.suntimesreprints.com. To order a reprint of this article, click here.