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FRG

Village and city officials in McHenry County are evaluating their options after being notified that the Union Pacific Railroad is looking to sell the land surrounding a number of its northern Illinois commuter stations.

In a letter to municipal officials, Metra said Union Pacific sent the commuter railway a notice that it had entered into a master agreement with an unnamed developer to sell some or all of the 41 train station properties for about $50.9 million.

“While it reflects a master contract for 41 stations, the notice is clear that the developer may elect to not purchase individual stations,” Metra said in the letter.

McHenry County stations that could be affected are in Crystal Lake, Cary, Woodstock, Harvard and McHenry and Fox River Grove.

Metra is willing to enter into an intergovernmental agreement with municipalities to purchase the station and transfer ownership back to the town, Anthony Ognibene, director of real estate and contract management for Metra, said in the letter. The municipality would have to finance the cost of the acquisition.

“Please be aware that time is critical,” Ognibene wrote, noting that municipalities would need to enter into the intergovernmental agreement before Nov. 12.

Right now, Crystal Lake is evaluating the information it received from Metra and weighing the city’s options, Crystal Lake Assistant City Manager Eric Helm said.

“We recently received the information,” Helm said.

Read more here.

Related:Mount Prospect train station, dozens more could be sold

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Metra

Metra’s proposing a $900 million budget for 2022 that would bring train service back to 2019 levels.

Metra’s $900 million proposed budget for 2022 is a balancing act as leaders lean on federal aid to bring service back to pre-COVID-19 levels on all lines in hopes of reclaiming the absent passengers who have decimated revenues.

The tentative budget, approved for release by Metra directors Wednesday, increases spending by 12.5% from the $800 million 2021 fiscal plan. In comparison, Metra’s original budget for 2020 was $827.4 million, although projections changed because of the pandemic, and the 2019 budget was $822 million.

There will be no fare increases, officials said.

The $100 million extra will be used to fill vacant jobs, offset inflation, and run more trains, which are at about 80% of 2019 numbers. The railroad had cut multiple trains as the pandemic surged in spring 2020.

The agency intends to reduce the time a 10-ride pass is valid from one year after date of purchase to 90 days, effective Feb. 1, 2022. Similarly, one-way tickets will expire in 14 days instead of 90 days.

Read more here.

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UP MP

Mount Prospect officials are discussing what it might mean for the village of Union Pacific sells land at its downtown train station for redevelopment.

Mount Prospect officials are discussing the possible redevelopment of land surrounding the downtown Metra train station property, amid reports Union Pacific is looking to sell the land there and at dozens of other suburban commuter stations.

The area in Mount Prospect includes the parking lots along Northwest Highway from southeast of Maple Street to northwest of Route 83.

Union Pacific has been trying to sell dozens of train station properties to a developer, according to village documents, which could mean millions of dollars of revenue for the railroad company. Among the other 40 sites are Arlington Heights, Arlington Park, Des Plaines, Palatine, Barrington, Fox River Grove, Cary, Crystal Lake, Harvard, McHenry, Villa Park, Lombard, Glen Ellyn, Wheaton, Winfield, West Chicago and Elburn.

Assistant Mount Prospect Village Manager Nellie Beckner said village staff is meeting about the possible sale this week.

“Obviously, we would love to have control over the parking lots in the train station, because that’s a key element of our downtown,” she said.

The latest communication from Metra to the village was sent on Sept. 29. It indicated that on Sept. 23, UP informed Metra that the company had entered into an agreement to sell the property at 41 stations for approximately $50.9 million.

Read more here.

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bhpd-logo-2-2021The Barrington Hills Park District Board will hold their regular monthly meeting this evening in-person and via Zoom at 7:00 PM.  Some of the topics on their agenda include:

  • Outdoor arena bid status
  • Review of IGA/Horizon Farms status, and
  • Review final draft of Fox River Valley Hunt’s Cooperative Agreement with the Park District

A copy of their agenda can be viewed here. Instructions for accessing the meeting remotely can be found here.

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First listed 8 years ago, 17.5K sf home on 8.5 acres is in contract asking $7.5M

Empire Estate

The home of Terrance Howard’s character Lucious Lyon on “Empire” (Getty, @properties)

A 17,500-square-foot Barrington Hills mansion featured on the Fox TV series “Empire” may finally have a new owner after eight years on the market and a 53 percent price cut from its original ask.

Sitting on 8.5 acres at 45 Lakeview Lane, the mansion was listed at $7.5 million when it went under contract on Sept. 3, according to Crain’s, which reported that the sale is subject to an unspecified contingency.

Sellers Sam and Geralyn Cecola, owners of the Admiral Theater strip club on Chicago’s North Side, built the home in 2008 and initially listed it for $15.9 million in 2013. Successive price cuts had shaved the ask down to $9.5 million by 2019 and $7.5 million in May of last year.

Starting in 2014, the estate was featured as the home of lead actor Terrance Howard’s character Lucious Lyon on “Empire,” which concluded with its sixth season last year. Located between Keene and Heather Lakes, the home has six bedrooms, 11 bathrooms, a large outdoor pool, boat slip and garage parking for nine cars, according to the listing with eXp Realty’s Michael LaFido.

Read more here.

Related: “‘Empire’ mansion owner slashes $2 million from asking price, placing 5-bedroom Barrington Hills home at $7.5 million,” “They’re finally marketing the ‘Empire’ mansion as the ‘Empire’ mansion

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Gas Station

While this isn’t exactly a new listing, we have noticed that marketing for this property seems to have picked up lately…

“Great opportunity to own this 6.25 acre High visibility lot on Rt 59 & Penny Rd. 823′ of frontage along Rt. 59!!! Possibilities are endless, Gas Station, Strip center, Restaurant, or whatever you are thinking.”

One of the listings can be found here.  Another can be viewed here.  Asking price: $750,000.

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BH Modern

A concrete, glass and steel house built in the 1950s by an architect who would become one of Chicago’s most noted church designers will get a complete rehab, instead of being torn down as other works of his have been.

“We want it stay the glorious living space it was meant to be,” Ann Oleinik said of the four-bedroom Barrington Hills house designed by Edward DartShe and her husband, Kamran Foruhar, bought it July 2 for $550,000. “There have been a lot of Dart’s houses torn down,” Foruhar said.

The house has rough stone exterior walls that also show up in some interior rooms, a long dining room between two walls of glass, a gracefully curved staircase complemented by curving built-in furniture at its base, and original walnut cabinetry, a hallmark of midcentury design, in the kitchen and bedrooms.

Dart was about 32 when he built the main part of the house on Oak Knoll Road for himself and his wife, Wilhelmina. He added to it a few years later. In his career, Dart designed dozens of houses and 26 modern churches from Barrington to Gary, Ind., and led the architectural design of Water Tower Place. He died in 1975.

Continue reading here.

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May BOT

The Village Board of Trustees will be conducting their monthly meeting this evening at 6:30 PM.  Some of the topics on their agenda include:

  • [Vote] An Ordinance Providing for Regulations Against the Disturbance of Public Meetings Ordinance 21 –
  • [Vote] An Ordinance Granting an Amendment to an Existing Special Use Permit for the Expansion of the Parking Lot at 160 Hawthorn Road Ordinance21 –
  • [Vote] An Ordinance Granting a Special Use to Dundee Township Park District for a Recreational Facility along Longmeadow Parkway near Algonquin Road Ordinance 21 –
  • [Vote] An Ordinance Amending the Zoning Code list of uses permitted in theB3 Business District a Canine Day Care Ordinance 21 –
  • [Vote] An Ordinance Amending Section 4-2-2(D) Temporary Swimming Pools Ordinance 21 – (?)
  • [Vote] Appointments: Equestrian Commission

A copy of the agenda can be viewed and downloaded hereThe meeting is open to those wishing to attend or readers can listen in by calling 508-924-1464.

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REAs people spent more time at home for the past 14 months and some segments of the economy fractured, residential real estate in Lake County began to experience a boom which continues as buyers scramble to find the right home.

“We had our best month in history in June, and it’s been uphill since then,” said Lynn Kosner, the managing broker of Baird & Warner’s Highland Park office.

“We’re getting between five and eight multiple offers on average, and the homes are selling above list price,” added Marty Golden, a broker with HomeSmart Connect, focusing on Waukegan, Gurnee, Zion and Wadsworth.

Single-family home values have increased 16.2% across Lake County for the year ending April 30, as people both move from Chicago or seek bigger suburban homes. Both want room to both work and recreate at home because of the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

A survey of 16 Lake County towns — from Barrington to Zion, and Highland Park to Wauconda — showed the value of a single-family home in the county rose from $357,440 to $426,640, according to a report from the North Shore Barrington Association of Realtors.

Reasons given for the boom by real estate brokers in various parts of the county — whether buyers are spending more than $1 million on average in Lake Forest, $624,657 in Barrington, $386,470 in Buffalo Grove or $166,917 in Waukegan — are similar.

Read more here.

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DD

32W939 Algonquin Road

The Zoning Board of Appeals will be meeting remotely this evening at 6:30 PM to hold a public hearing followed by a public meeting regarding a text amendment petition for a, “Canine Daycare and/or Doggy Daycare with Grooming, Training and Boarding,” facility at 32W939 Algonquin Road.

A copy of the agenda can be viewed and downloaded here.

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