Lawsuit claims Robbins quarry developer defaulted on loan
By Casey Toner email@example.com October 16, 2013 10:02PM
Updated: November 18, 2013 8:01AM
First Midwest Bank has filed a lawsuit in Cook County Circuit Court claiming that the west suburban developer planning a limestone quarry and underground mine in Robbins defaulted on a $350,000 loan.
The lawsuit claims that Jim Louthen — whose company ALM Resources is in charge of the Robbins project — owes the bank $350,000 after defaulting on a loan, according to court records. A second lawsuit claiming Louthen and his wife defaulted on a mortgage for their Riverside office and owed more than $109,000 was dropped in September, court records show.
The lawsuits were filed about nine months after ALM Resources was founded and about three months before the company signed the development agreement with Robbins, records from the Illinois secretary of state’s office show. The Robbins agreement stipulates that there are no pending lawsuits against the developer that threaten the project.
The lawsuits concern Louthen’s Riverside-based development firm, Town Builder Studios, which developed Robbins’ comprehensive plan. Town Builder Studios and ALM Resources share an office in Riverside.
Louthen issued a statement Tuesday saying that ALM Resources was using the Riverside office as a “temporary Robbins development mailing address” and that ALM Resources plans to soon open an office in Robbins. The statement also said Louthen has asked the bank for additional time resulting in a tentative deal to resolve the pending lawsuit.
“Louthen is committed to servicing his debt and growing the business mission of town building,” the statement said.
The SouthtownStar previously reported ALM Resources entered into a deal with Robbins in August that calls for the village to acquire roughly 100 single-family homes. The developer wants to acquire the land through a quick-take process, which needs approval from Illinois lawmakers, who could consider it during the General Assembly’s upcoming veto session.
If approved, the redevelopment would dramatically alter the face of Robbins —one of Southland’s poorest communities.
The pending lawsuit concerns a $300,000 loan Louthen took out in September 2011, which he promised to repay by May 2012. Two months after taking out the loan, Louthen boosted its total to $350,000, and he modified the loan three times in 2012 to push back the due date to December 2012.
According to the lawsuit, Louthen still owes the bank $350,000 plus interest, attorney fees, and late fees.
In his statement, Louthen said the lawsuits were the result of developing “distressed communities like Robbins,” that require significant investment without seeing any meaningful return.
“This coupled with the impact of the recession on the construction industry generally and the delay in getting paid on completed projects has forced Louthen to have to delay payment to certain of his creditors including the bank which holds the mortgage on his office in Riverside,” he said.