Lake and Lathrop have 11 days to close the construction loan

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With construction finally underway on the Lake and Lathrop project, the River Forest Village Board has granted the developer and its financial partner an 11-day extension to close a construction loan on the mixed-use building.

Officials agreed to grant the extension to Lake Lathrop Partners LLC and its financial partner, Wintrust Community Bank, in an executive meeting during the Jan. 24 village board meeting. Lake Lathrop Partners is a joint venture between Sedgwick Properties and Keystone Ventures.

When officials ratified an ordinance approving the third amendment to the second amended and related redevelopment agreement in October, the developer was given until January 23 to meet five specific requirements, including obtaining construction financing. With the first concreting last week, the other four requirements were met.

Reading a written statement on the decision, Village President Cathy Adduci said the request for an extension was related to complications related to the coronavirus pandemic that Wintrust Bank had encountered.

Lake and Lathrop’s development can be seen on Saturday, January 22, 2022 in River Forest, Illinois ALEX ROGALS/Staff Photographer

This project was on the drawing board before the 2018 community board approved Lake Lathrop Partners LLC’s proposal to build a four-story, mixed-use development with 22 condominiums and 14,000 square feet of retail space. Variations on the same project had previously wavered and lingered for a decade.

The original project included an additional floor and eight more units, but was scaled back.

The project experienced a number of delays over the years, including environmental cleanups from a dry cleaner that used to be on site and a legal battle with a tenant who refused to move.

“For the development of Lake and Lathrop, the village board received a request from Lake Lathrop Partners and Wintrust Bank to extend Wintrust’s deadline to close the construction loan until February 4,” Adduci read from the written statement. “The developer completed all of its bona fide building requirements before the January 23 deadline, with the exception of Wintrust being unable to finalize and close the loan due to Omicron and COVID delays.

“The community board is willing to give Wintrust and the developer until February 4th to complete the construction loan under the unique circumstances of the Omicron variant. If the CST deadline at 5:00 p.m. on February 4 is not met, the village manager and village attorney are entitled to proceed with issuing a notice of default to the developer. The Village Board hopes and expects that this project will proceed as planned with this shelter.”

According to Kyle Haste, development project manager for Sedgwick Properties, one of the developers, concrete for five pillar pads was scheduled to be poured on site on January 21. This was followed by the placement of rebars for the foundations, which began the previous day and was scheduled to be completed on January 21st.

Earlier this month, in preparation for deeper excavation, the general contractor removed underground obstructions, including two storage tanks once used to heat buildings on the site. These tanks had previously been identified but did not require further environmental remediation at the site. Excavations began in December. Haste said no work has been delayed due to adverse weather conditions so far.

Though Haste said sales traffic “remains strong,” no more units have been sold since October, when developers said 14 had been sold. He said interest is also “strong” in retail. Developers said in October that a medical tenant has committed to taking 2,500 square feet of the retail space and that three others, two restaurants and another medical company, have expressed serious interest.

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