by Susan O’Neill
ELBURN—The Elburn Village Board is scheduled to vote on the Elburn Station development on Monday, Oct. 15, but trustee Bill Grabarek doesn’t want to wait that long to voice his concerns about developer ShoDeen.
Referring to a report that ShoDeen has defaulted on a loan taken on the Tanna Farms Golf Course in Geneva, Grabarek suggested that further action on the Elburn development be tabled until the village finds out more about ShoDeen’s current financial status.
“My feeling is that the uncertainty could be a credible argument just to table everything right now until we have more information on the financial stability of the developer,” Grabarek said. “Are we putting the village at financial risk?”
Kane County court documents show that there is a foreclosure claim on the Tanna Farms mortgage due to the failure of ShoDeen Construction Company, LLC., to pay off a loan taken out on the property.
The plaintiff in a suit to recover the money is Bank of America. ShoDeen is appealing the case, and the next status hearing is set for Friday, Sept. 28 in Geneva.
The Elburn Village Board at its meeting on Sept. 4 voted to close public comment on the Elburn Station development. Grabarek was the only “no” vote.
Village President Dave Anderson said on Tuesday that the vote on the annexation agreement with ShoDeen on the Elburn Station development had been postponed due to some unresolved issues with the developer.
Although Anderson said that these issues have nothing to do with Tanna Farms, he did say that “it raises a flag, yes.”
“We did not expect B&B and Blackberry Creek to go off the cliff,” Grabarek said at Monday’s meeting. “ShoDeen did not expect Tanna Farms to off the cliff.”
Grabarek said that, once the development is annexed, the village is responsible for it.
“Once you bring it in, whoever owns it, owns it, and we no longer have the control we have before annexation,” Grabarek said. “Once it’s annexed, we’re stuck with the highest and best use of whatever that property may be. That worries me in view of the Tanna Farm news.”
Anderson explained on Tuesday that the protection that the village will have regarding the Elburn Station development from a financial standpoint is the requirement that the developer establish an escrow account.
He said the board can’t keep postponing the vote on the Elburn development.
“We’re required to vote on it,” he said. “I want to make sure everybody is there to give their vote. It’s a board decision.”
Village Administrator Erin Wilrett said that the unresolved issues include an escrow billing payment that the petitioner, ShoDeen, is required to make, and settling on a land cash amount that the developer would pay in lieu of land for a school.
“We’re working with our appraiser to reach an amount,” she said.
Kent Shodeen could not be reached for comment, but Shodeen Construction Company President Dave Patzelt said the Tanna Farm lawsuit is totally unrelated to the development in Elburn and does not affect the Elburn Station at all.
“ShoDeen is financially stable,” Patzelt said. “Tanna Farm and its finances involves one loan and one development.”
“When you look at it (the development) from 20,000 feet, it’s a pretty nice development,” Anderson said. “But once you get closer, there’s some issues that need to be cleared up. The village has to do its due diligence.”