Wednesday, September 12, 2012
Algonquin Board Rejects "Too Many" Riverside Plaza Apartments
Algonquin's Planning and Zoning Commission had signed off on the expansion last month but the Board refused to accept North Barrington developer John Breugelmans' assertion that he can't borrow $8.5 million to build the interior of Riverside Plaza with fewer than 69 apartments. Breugelmans admitted for the first time that he read the condominium market wrong when he bought the unfinished project last year but he said reconfiguring as apartments was always Plan B to which the Village had assented. Village Manager Bill Ganek demurred from that. "I've been in the business long enough to know whatever I say requires Board approval," he replied.
Only Trustees Jim Steigert and Brian Dianis were willing to accept 69 apartments, although not very enthusiastically. "We need to get this going," Steigert complained. Trustees Jerry Glogowski and Bob Smith balked, apparently favoring the original 54 unit proposal or something a lot closer to it.
Village President John Schmitt pushed for a 64-unit compromise he said Breugelmans had proposed last week but the developer dismissed that saying he'd merely raised it as a "political" proposal with no proven connection to reality. Trustees John Spella and Debbie Sosine just said "No". In May they'd objected even to the idea of rentals.
The upshot was for Breugelmans to try to thrash out another plan with Village staff which was about what everyone had expected.
Tuesday's surprise development proved to be the revelation that there's a third player in what had previously appeared to be a Mexican standoff between the Village and the developer. Vernon Hills investment expert Glenn Kilbride, urging the Board to accommodate Breugelmans, said he spoke as the advisor for the developer's "major financial partner." He hinted whoever that was was getting impatient. "I'm on his back as well," Kilbride said. Later he declined to tell FEN the partner's identity, admitting only that, "It's a Lake County resident."
In the pic: Developer John Breugelmans told the Algonquin Board if trustees don't approve an expansion to 69 apartment units at Riverside Plaza, "It will sit empty for the next three, four, five years."