The Village's Development Approval Process » Lake & Lathrop Mixed Use Project

Lake & Lathrop Mixed Use Project

Project Status

On September 15, the Village sent out a message through our weekly E-newsletter informing residents the previously planned project at Lake & Lathrop would no longer be moving forward. On this date, the 18-month building permit that was issued to the developer, Sedgwick Properties (Sedgwick) in February of 2022 was revoked by the Village, along with a stop work order for the project. Just days prior, the Village was made aware that a Cook County Circuit Court appointed receiver had been assigned to the property due to foreclosure litigation between Sedgwick, and its lender, Beverly Bank & Trust, an affiliate of Wintrust Bank. 

In regard to the length of time it took for the development agreement to be severed, the Village, as with any approved private development contract with a public body, was required to allow the developer time to meet a series of benchmarks - per the agreement that was initiated in 2019. Due to Sedgwick successfully meeting initial requirements, including a nearly $3 million investment for site remediation to remove contaminants or pollutants on the property, it was able to move to the next step in the process to obtain a building permit. In February 2022, the Village approved an amendment to Lake and Lathrop LLC redevelopment agreement  due in large part to the developer acquiring a reputable funding source, and meeting all the other prior benchmarks. Lake and Lathrop, LLC (Sedgwick Development) had an active permit until August, 2023.

It is worthy to note in addition to the environmental remediation work paid for by Sedgwick, additional improvements to the property have since been made through a partnership with the Village, receiver and bank. These include the removal of construction equipment and materials - including solomix concrete silos, as well the completion of external and internal site cleanup. New sidewalks are now in place in this area, and seeds for grass have been planted. Before the end of construction season (roughly the end of November) the receiver plans to address fence repairs to ready the site for future development.

It is now time for the Village to look ahead and plan for the future of this important River Forest property. Any updates will be shared with community members through the Village’s weekly E-newsletters. For any additional questions about the site, please contact Matt Walsh, Village Administrator at mwalsh@vrf.us. 

Project & Site History
  • In 2010, there was no planned veleopment at the site. The Village issued a request for proposals (RFP) for the development opportunity at the corner of Lake Street & Lathrop Avenue. Keystone Ventures was the lone respondent. The Village entered into an agreement with Keystone Ventures, LLC committing TIF funds for redevelopment costs in December 2010. 
  • In 2016, the Village Board approved a Redevelopment Agreement with Lake Lathrop Partners, LLC, a nominee of Keystone Ventures. 
  • In 2018, the Village Board approved a Planned Development Permit for the mixed use project.
  • In June 2021, after Lake Lathrop Partners demolished and remediated the properties at a cost of $3 million, the IEPA issued a no further remediation letter that stated the site is clean and could be developed. Prior to this time, no construction would have been allowed. The IEPA letter approving remediation can be viewed here
  • In February 2022, an eighteen-month building permit was issued to Sedgwick Properties for the construction of a mixed-use development including retail and residential units. In August 2023, the building permit expired, and an extension was granted provided that specific criteria were met by September 15, 2023. On September 15, 2023, the specific criteria were not met and the Village issued a stop work order on the property. On September 13, a receiver was appointed by the bank and took responsibility for the site moving forward.
  • On September 28, 2023, the following update was included in the weekly newsletter: "Cleanup at the former Lake & Lathrop construction site is ongoing. The Cook County Circuit Court appointed receiver for the property is managing these efforts, which most recently included placing dirt and seed on Ashland and Lathrop avenues adjacent to the newly placed sidewalks that are now walkable for pedestrians. Additionally, dumpsters have been removed from the site, and the receiver is working with contractors to remove additional construction materials. Other improvements planned in the coming weeks/months are to have fencing around the site replaced, and the removal of cement silos on the property. All these site improvements are expected to be completed before the end of the construction season (end of November) and will help to prime and market this property for future development."
  • On October 12, 2023, the following update was included in the Village President's letter: "..."the Village continues to communicate with the court-appointed receiver regarding the improvements being made on the former Lake & Lathrop project site, to ready it for future development. Last week, the concrete mixing silos were removed, and the site fencing is now stabilized. For questions regarding the site, please contact the receiver, Ascend Real Estate Group, at 312-252-9270."
  • On November 10, 2023, the following update was provided in the weekly newsletter: "Wintrust Bank, the former Lake & Lathrop project lender, and the court-appointed receiver, Ascend Real Estate Group, continue to be responsible for the maintenance of the Lake & Lathrop site, as well as for the marketing of this prime commercial property for redevelopment. The Village previously invested in this project to create a clean, viable site for development that was promised to our residents. This goal was successfully achieved in 2021 and took place prior to Wintrust Bank’s involvement as the project lender in 2022. Since then, Wintrust Bank has been responsible for the project’s oversight to ensure it came to fruition, which did not happen by the time the former developer's, Sedgwick Properties, building permit expired on September 15, 2023. The Village will not issue another building permit to Sedgwick Properties for this project. Additionally, the Village will stay in communication with Wintrust Bank to keep track of its progress, and looks forward to a new development in the near future at this location."
  • The court-appointed receiver, Ascend Real Estate Group (Ascend), has listed the Lake & Lathrop property for sale through real estate broker JLL. The sale of this property will be subject to Wintrust Bank’s agreement and court approval. Any liens burdened on the property will be the responsibility of Sedgwick Properties, and then Wintrust Bank after the property is transferred by its foreclosure. The Village maintains the authority to grant or deny zoning entitlement for any proposed projects at this location.
  • The Village has been reimbursed for the Ashland sidewalk repairs made in September and Ascend has paid the outstanding property taxes owed on the site. The joint cost Wintrust Bank paid for property repairs and taxes through October 31, 2023 is $66,408.34. The total budget to date submitted by the receiver and approved by Wintrust Bank, which includes Village-paid expenses and taxes, professional fees and receiver fees, is $108,303.58.

  • January 18, 2024: Ascend Real Estate Group, the court-appointed receiver for the Lake & Lathrop property, continues to market this site to developers and investors. The receiver expects to call for final offers in February. Any proposed development for the site will be subject to Village zoning and permitting approval. Sedgwick Properties has filed a motion to reconsider to prevent the marketing and potential sale of this property for redevelopment. The motion to reconsider will be presented to the Cook County Circuit Court on January 24, 2024. 
As additional updates are made available, they will be published in the Village's weekly or monthly newsletters (click here to subscribe) and also added to this page.
 

Past Project Updates