Elburn Station negotiations hit a snag

in Elburn by

One item remains before development moves forward
by Susan O’Neill
ELBURN—Negotiations for the Elburn Station development hit a snag Monday night when interim Village Administrator Doug Elder informed the board that ShoDeen developer Dave Patzelt did not agree with the requirement that he complete area one, the section of the development with single-family homes, first.

“Dave Patzelt of ShoDeen Development said he never agreed with that, and does not agree with that, and he will not agree to that,” Elder said.

Village Attorney Bob Britz said he also spoke with Patzelt, and asked him his reasons for objecting to this requirement.

According to Britz, Patzelt had several reasons, one of which was that he doesn’t want to be prohibited from commencing development of the other areas first. Patzelt said he wants the market to determine the products he develops first.

“Basically he’s telling us he wants to build apartments first, cause that’s what the market calls for,” trustee Jeff Walter said. “That’s not the kind of development I’m looking for—at least not as the first phase.”

“I’d hate to jeopardize the development if he can’t sell single-family homes when the bridge is done,” trustee Jerry Schmidt said. “If there is a market for single-family homes, let him build that. If there’s a market for condos or apartments, let him build that. We need this development.”

Britz said he invited Patzelt to the meeting, but the ShoDeen developer didn’t want to attend.

On Tuesday, Patzelt said that there were several reasons for his rejecting the part of the agreement. First, he said that when Village President Dave Anderson came back to him a month ago with the main concerns the board had with the plan as it was, completion of area one before others could be started was not mentioned.

“This is a new problem,” Patzelt said.

In addition, Patzelt said that if he had to wait to begin a second area of construction until he had completed the first, it would take a year to 18 months to complete the roads and other infrastructure before he could begin building homes, and he would lose that momentum from one area to the next.

“Although the areas are numbered, this doesn’t imply an order for when each would get built,” he said. “For example, area one might get split into two or three phases. We may not build all 149 at once; we may start with 35 or 50 or 70.”

Patzelt said that area one includes 149 single family homes, with 70- and 80-foot-lot sizes. It does not call for single-family homes on 60-, 50- or 40-foot lots, which are elsewhere in the development.

“Area one may not have the latest and greatest current market-selling products,” he said.

As far as what the market will dictate, Patzelt said that he doesn’t know what that will be, because he can’t proceed with the actual development until the Anderson Road extension and bridge is completed, and that will take a year and a half.

“It’s not what is the market now; it’s what is the market when the bridge is completed,” he said.
Patzelt said that if the board is concerned about the multi-family units being built first, area one is not the only area without multi-family units. Areas two, three, seven, eight and nine do not include multi-family units, either.

“Why not start with one of them?” he asked.

Trustee Ken Anderson suggested the board change the requirement from the first area having to be completed to it having to be started. The modification was to be sent back to Patzelt on Tuesday.

According to Elder, this was the one remaining issue that the ShoDeen developer had. Patzelt had agreed to the other changes the board suggested, and Britz read through those changes for the board. The vote on the development has been set for the Village Board meeting on Monday, March 18.