Responsible land use and development 

 

Sale of Bess Hardware 

 

We believe that the Board needs to practice responsible land use and development.  In addition, we believe that the development of downtown Glenview should be a top priority of the Village Board. 

 

However, we question the Board's decisions related to the sale of the former Bess Hardware site in downtown Glenview to The Drake Group of Glenview. The Drake Group plans to build 72 residential apartments--up to five stories--with 718 square feet of ground-floor retail space on a visually important corner of downtown Glenview. 

 

As part of its commitment to downtown revitalization, the Village Board, on January 2017, purchased the site of the former Bess Hardware (.66 acres) for $2.225 million and completed a land swap with Metra (valued at $1.1 million) trading 1.64 acres of land near the North Glen station for 1.04 acres of land near the downtown Glenview station. 

 

In June 2018, the Board authorized the sale of the now .927 acre parcel (augmented by .26 acres from the Metra land swap) for $1.8 million, which the Board reported as a loss of about $415,000.  At the same time, the Board committed up to $1 million to provide more public parking in the downtown area.

 

Let's do the math.  A loss of $415,000 in the sale. The inclusion of .26 across of the $1.1 million land swap with Metra = $286,000) at no apparent additional cost to the developer.  $1 million for a parking lot.  It seems like the Village is looking at a loss of $1.701 million right out the door.  

 

When discussing this deal, one of the Village Trustees said, "This is the best deal we could get."    Really?