Funeral Home Owner Offers to ‘Donate’ Vacant Property to Village, Which Declines

Friday, September 8, 2017 || By Michael Romain || @maywoodnews  

Featured image: Corbin Colonial Funeral Chapel in Maywood, which has been closed for roughly a decade.

During a Sept. 5 regular board meeting, Maywood Mayor Edwenna Perkins said that she recently got a call from the owner of the abandoned Corbin Colonial Funeral Chapel, located at 1001 Madison St. in Maywood. He had an offer.

“I got a call from [Randy] Corbin and he would like to donate this property to Maywood,” Perkins said to her board colleagues on Sept. 5, adding that the call prompted her to approach Maywood Village Manager Willie Norfleet, Jr. about whether the village should take up the offer.

“Norfleet said we could accept this property and not have to pay taxes,” Perkins said. “It’s a fantastic building and if we can accept the property and not have to pay the taxes, then why not? We saw it built, he was not treated right in the village of Maywood and he is willing to donate to Maywood.”

According to a June 2009 West Suburban Journal report, the chapel’s owner, Randy Corbin, said that his 2008 second installment property taxes were $110,000 — a burden that village officials did nothing to help ease, he claimed.

Norfleet, however, said that if the village takes the building as a donation, it would have to pay the unpaid taxes on the property, “which are estimated at approximately $1.5 million.” Norfleet said that he didn’t think taking the building as a donation was a viable approach.

“From a donation standpoint and paying back taxes, I think that’s a very bad route to go,” Norfleet said. “There are other avenues to obtaining the building without [it being donated].”

Trustee Isiah Brandon also disagreed with the approach.

“We are not in real estate,” Brandon said. “We should not be in the business of collecting property. We’re having trouble maintaining our own. We’re trying to sell the other properties we currently have.”

Brandon said that the owner of another vacant building — a former dental office on 5th Ave. and Quincy St. — approached board members with a similar proposal.

“We don’t want to put ourselves in that corner where we’re doing something for one person and not another,” Brandon said. “We have to be consistent across the board.”

Having learned from the manager that the village would be paying $1.5 million in back taxes if they accepted Corbin as a donation, Perkins agreed with Trustee Henderson Yarbrough that the idea was “a dead issue.”

“It’s a moot point, we move on,” Perkins said.

When contacted Wednesday evening, Corbin said that he just wants the building off of his hands, adding that the taxes were $145,000 a year. He said that, at the time, he couldn’t get any help trying to ease his tax burden from the village.

“We tried every avenue we knew and couldn’t get any help from nobody,” he said.

Corbin said that he believes there’s a way for the village to obtain the building without having to pay the back taxes.

” I think they got a way they can get around that,” Corbin said. “They can get those taxes knocked out if they wanted to. They know how to go through the county and get that done. They can do that.” VFP  

F E A T U R E D  E V E N T

Bellwood chamber of commerce

2 thoughts on “Funeral Home Owner Offers to ‘Donate’ Vacant Property to Village, Which Declines

  1. Thank you for voting this down. Do you really need another vacant building. Work on all the houses you have thru town, tear them down or sell them for $1 for someone to revamp. This is crazy. Of course he wants to donate it. I pay over $6000.00 in taxes for a home. So I have no sympathy. Figure out a way for my taxes to go down and then I will discuss whether this makes any sense? Really buying up more vacant property.

  2. The Village has the authority to acquire the property free utilizing the “No Cash Bid” process, this would void all the taxes. Control the property, control the development.

    Of course the same process could be used by the Cook County Land Bank Authority; which is supposedly dedicated to that kind of activity. But, does the CCLBA have the funds to maintain and secure the building, or attract an investor to buy it for redevelopment?

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