Friday, January 21, 2011

No Bids, New Player Revealed For Riverside Square

More than two years after construction stopped, Algonquin's decrepit Riverside Square now isn't  worth $1.25 million.  That was the minimum qualifying bid in a court-ordered auction to be held Thursday but no one submitted even that much.

Only two buyers showed up for the auction despite as many as 30 who expressed initial interest, according to the building's receiver.   Plote, Inc., Hoffman Estates, submitted a bid below the minimum but VP Dan Shepard wouldn't say how far below.  John Breugelmans from Lakeland Asset Management, Des Plaines, didn't bid at all.  Judge Michael Caldwell set the next court date for March 3 to see if  the two dozen claimants against Riverside Square can agree to a new even lower opening auction price.

However, a visibly disappointed Village Manager, Bill Ganek, said Algonquin would continue next Friday to try to get another circuit court judge to order the half-finished building torn down. "The property remains unsafe as it is and we haven't seen any action to change that," he said.  Algonquin Village Attorney Kelly Cahill said Algonquin had to go to court last week for an emergency order to have the building's owner, Harris Bank, board up all the windows FEN first reported broken in October.

Besides the bankruptcy court, the two circuit courts, all the stiffed contractors, the bank and the village, another Riverside Square player was revealed Thursday, one who might decide to throw in the towel. "(Harris) is going to sit down with the FDIC representatives next week to see where this is going," said attorney Scott Koenig.  He said the meeting would try to determine if Riverside Square "still has value and is a viable asset."

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation got involved when it forced the sale of Riverside Square's original failing lender, Amcore Bank, to Harris last April.  When that happened Harris confirmed it had taken over the moribund luxury condo project in Algonquin, but Koenig's comments Thursday indicated FDIC must have retained some sort of interest or control.

Koenig wouldn't talk about that to reporters and a Harris spokesman declined to comment Thursday citing "confidentiality."  FEN was unable to contact FDIC spokesmen in Washington or the Chicago regional office Thursday.

In the pic: Bankruptcy receiver Mike Kayman told the court his "read" was that Algonquin would like to have Riverside Square finished and paying taxes but that outcome literally isn't looking very good.

1 comment :

Anonymous said...

Bad news for Algonquin. The good citizens don't deserve it. It looks like the best thing right now is let Plote buy and tear it down if they so chose. Who is to say how many years would it, again, take to finish the project especially in this economy if someone was willing to buy and complete. Downtown (62 & 31) has looked like an Iraq neighborhood for far too long now.