Op-Ed: Trustees Shouldn’t Use Granite to Block Progress

THE OPINION PAGE

By Sarah Lira

Regarding the proposal from Granite Realty that’s recently reemerged as a possible alternative to the InSite proposal, it is important that residents and business owners consider a few things that the trustees advocating for the Granite plan have yet to bring to the public’s attention. For one, Granite may be offering more money, but they have not secured it yet.

Secondly, Granite’s offer of $750,000 for four parcels of land actually amounts to only $187,500 per parcel, which is significantly less than InSite’s offering of $450,000 for two parcels, or $225,000 per parcel. If Granite were to develop the main parcel at First and Lake, the other parcels would automatically be worth more and only Granite would pocket that increase in value. How is that ‘more bang for our buck,’ as one trustee commented at last week’s LLOC meeting? The consequences of discounting all four parcels would be to DEVALUE the current surrounding businesses.

Thirdly, Granite’s proposal appears comprised of not much more than a vague hope of development that will happen in the distant future (if it happens at all) and a $750,000 offer–money that Granite has yet to secure (if it is able to secure it all). If Granite’s proposal falls flat and no development occurs, the result would be the permanent devaluation of those parcels and the businesses surrounding them.

It seems that it is in the best interest of our Village to go with the InSite proposal, which already has an anchor tenant on board in Hinsdale Bank. This would increase the value of First and Lake and perhaps touch off a domino effect by making other developers and retailers more interested in the area’s other parcels in need of development and redevelopment.

A banking and retail center at the corner of First and Lake, one of Maywood’s main entryways, by March 2014, sends a message of progress to our current and future residents and businesses and helps reassure them that the Village is working with their best interests in mind. Residents and business owners need to call on our trustees to act in good faith and fulfill their responsibilities to the public. VFP

Mrs. Lira is the Executive Director of Housing Helpers, Inc., a nonprofit that delivers affordable housing and promotes home ownership literacy in Maywood, Bellwood and beyond.

One thought on “Op-Ed: Trustees Shouldn’t Use Granite to Block Progress

  1. I agree with Mrs. Lira. If the Trustees don’t use some common sense and take the InSite proposal, the land will sit empty and continue to be an eye-sore. The Village officials have thrived on potential – the potential that there would be a condo building on First and Lake, that the Widows’ Home would be turned into a jazz club/restaurant…banking on potential has gotten Maywood absolutely nowhere and actually cost the taxpayers more money. If I were to walk into a Village meeting and have a brief case with $1M in cash, and announce that I was going to give it to Maywood, free and clear, do you think they would say “Oh, we can get somebody else who will give us more money – we don’t want yours” ?? I think not.

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