The village of Algonquin has given the developer of Riverside Plaza a 4½-month extension to show proof of financing for the project in the heart of downtown.
The village board voted Tuesday to extend to Dec. 1 developer John Breugelmans' deadline to present a $500,000 letter of credit and proof of financing after he failed to meet the initial May 30 deadline, followed by a 45-day grace period.
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The letter of credit was part of a settlement agreement the village made with the developer regarding a demolition lawsuit filed last year against then-owner Amcore Bank. The building at Routes 31 and 62 in downtown Algonquin had been vacant since construction was interrupted in 2008 when the initial developer defaulted on his loans.
Breugelmans said the exterior of the building will be finished by the end of this month, coinciding with Founders' Days festival, which starts July 28.
As for the letter of credit, Breugelmans argued its purpose was to show he could complete the exterior of the building, so once that's done the letter of credit becomes moot, he said.
Village leaders want the agreement to be respected, but they also don't want to put undue financial pressure on the developer, Village President John Schmitt said.
"The developer needs to know that we are very, very serious about him living up to the settlement agreement. However, it's not our goal to make it so difficult that the developer has problems completing what he says he wants to do," he said. "In the financial climate that we have right now, it's difficult getting funding."
However, what matters is that construction of the mixed-used development at Routes 31 and 62 in downtown Algonquin is proceeding on track, Schmitt said. "I think it looks great," he said.
As for when the project will be finished, Schmitt said it's impossible to predict in this tough economy.
"(The developer) has got to sell some of it before he can complete it. It really depends on the marketplace," he said.