6/24/2014 10:15:00 AM City signs deal with subdivision developer Braidwood Townes will see new life, city a big profit
by Tonya Michalec Staff writer
In less than four months the city of Braidwood has found a developer interested in completing a subdivision that has sit idle for nearly five years.
During the July 10 city council meeting, the council approved a resolution to enter into an agreement for the development of the Townes of Braidwood.
Mayor Bill Rulien commented that the city's defunct subdivision, purchased by the city back in February, is set to be completed by a recognized leader in building houses for veterans, Restoration America.
"They offer special financing programs and a track record for getting the job done," Rulien said.
Restoration America is a charitable organization that works along with the Hines VA Hospital to help veterans who are in need of housing through local outreach. The developer, based in Hoffman Estates, IL, has constructed veteran housing in Illinois cities that include Zion, Waukegan, South Holland, Montgomery, River Grove, Chicago Ridge, Burnham and Calumet Park.
It specializes in restoration and the repair of homes; the revitalization of abandoned properties; housing programs and projects for the aging; grant assistance; training and work study programs for veterans; financial education/training and more.
"This developer markets especially to veterans and to seniors, but is also open to anyone else wishing to purchase the homes they build," Rulien pointed out.
Roughly five years ago the Braidwood subdivision was foreclosed upon when the original developers, Ramsey Homes, LLC and Hexagon Homes, filed for bankruptcy. City officials said the developer's letter of credit defaulted, resulting in the lack of funding available for the city to make improvements. Foreclosure proceedings were completed in August 2009, when Citizens Bank received a $3 million judgment against Hexagon and Ramsey. The bank placed the remaining 34 vacant lots left on the market at nearly $900,000.
Four months ago, the city decided to purchase the parcels after the asking price dropped nearly 83 percent. The subdivision originally thought to 34 lots left was purchased by the city for $150,000. Three months later, after the property was officially surveyed, the purchased included 55 lots. The final platting of phase 2 and phase 2a resulted in each lot costing $2,723.
The agreement states that Restoration America will pay $12,000 for each of the remaining 54 lots. The developer will buy lots over time, building a minimum of two houses every three months.
Restoration America will place a down payment of $2,000 per lot prior to construction. The remaining $10,000 to be paid after each house is sold. The city stands to be paid $648,000 for the property, about a $498,000 profit when the subdivision is done.
According to Rulien, Restoration America will construct a model home west of the existing parking lot located on West Cermak Road. The builder will have to construct homes comparable in size and value to what already exists within the subdivision.
"The builder has to abide by the covenants of the homeowners association that is there in the Townes - and that was outlined in the deed to the lots. They will have to approve anything before it can happen," Rulien said.
Rulien said one lot located next to the lift station on English Street will be given to the homeowners association for a future playground.
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