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Elmhurst City Council extends agreement with Addison parking deck developer

Published: Tuesday, Dec. 3, 2013 9:03 a.m. CDT • Updated: Tuesday, Dec. 3, 2013 1:41 p.m. CDT
The empty lot (left) on Addison Avenue, just south of 2nd Street, in downtown Elmhurst is the site of a proposed six-story tall parking deck. (Mark Busch - mbusch@shawmedia.com)

ELMHURST – The City Council approved a resolution Monday for a fifth letter of agreement, which extends the timeline for the Addison parking deck with a change from previous extensions.

While the city has extended the agreement with four previous letters, this letter was slightly different than before.

"The city attorney recommended a change that alters the number of days between us coming to the final contract with the developer and start of construction," said City Manager Jim Grabowski.

The fifth letter of agreement gives the city and developer until June 30, 2014 to enter into a contract and until Dec.15 to begin construction. Previously, letters of agreement allowed only 60 days between entering into a final contract and breaking ground, but the fifth letter provides 150 days.

The current agreement expires in January, the same month the Zoning and Planing Commission is expected to hold a public hearing on the city's application for a variance that would allow for a six-story structure.

While the council approved the letter unanimously, Third Ward Alderman Michael Bram expressed his concern that extending the agreement was becoming a bit routine.

"This is starting to look a lot like Hahn Street," said Bram. "We continue to extend the contract over and over again with very limited debate about possibly even improving the contract and that concerns me."

Grabowski explained that the June 30 date gives the city and developer six months to create a final contract, which has been standard with previous agreements. However, he hopes the Dec. 15, 2014 deadline for starting construction gives a more reachable goal than the previous 60-day time frame. The city is less likely to need to extend the contract again.

"We just wanted an outside date for our construction to start," Grabowski said. "We wanted to make sure that it doesn't turn into a project that just languishes."

The city and developer Addison Corridor Development I, LLC entered into a development, loan and land purchase and sale agreement almost five years ago in February of 2009.

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