The effects of the recession and real estate crash are still being dealt with in North Aurora, where trustees Monday decided the village was taking over finishing public improvements at three developments.
The board also voted to do the same at a fourth development, if the new developer doesn't start the work by July 30.
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The board voted 4-0 to draw on letters of credit to finish the work in the Autumn Ridge, Remington Landings and Randall Square developments. The letters of credit, backed by banks, were posted by the developers when their projects were approved, to guarantee the work would be done. The work includes installing sidewalks and parkway trees, moving overhead utilities, widening Oak Street and putting the top coat of binder down on roads, among other things.
Each of the developers had been granted at least a one one-year extension of the deadlines to get the work done. In Randall Square's case, the matter has been complicated by some of the lots going to foreclosure, said Scott Buening, the village's community development director.
The village still holds out hope, however, that the developer of the Randall Highlands townhouse subdivision will do the work. Several months ago the village gave the new owner and developer permission to finish the project by building rental townhouses (the original townhouses are individually owned.) Jim Hughes, representing developer Next Generation LLC, said Next Generation is still trying to get financing to build the townhouses, but that it has had a hard time due to the project proposing two- and three-bedroom units. Typically, rental townhouses used to be one- and two-bedroom units, he said. But with the economic downturn of the past five years, he believes there is a market for young families looking to rent bigger units. "It is a different niche," Hughes said.
The village is, however, concerned about timing, because the roads in the development have been there five years. It believes if the roads don't get a top coat of binder this summer, they will need more extensive paving next year, driving the cost up another $200,000. Administrators are concerned that if the work doesn't start by July 30, and the village takes over, the public bidding schedule will push the paving into the fall. The risk then is that cold weather typically means asphalt plants shut down.
The developer has been given a July 30 deadline to start the work.