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posted: 7/20/2012 4:40 AM

Make sure renters know condo plan

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Every now and then there is an update on the Riverside Plaza at Routes 31 and 62 in Algonquin. Now there is talk of changing the condo units into apartments. However, in the latest update they mention that "if" the condos can be converted into apartments, the plan is to revert to condos once the housing market improves. The problem is that there may not be enough parking spaces when the 54 unit condo building becomes a 69-unit apartment building.

I have watched this project since the beginning. In my opinion, the entire building should have been torn down when the original investor ran out of money to finish it. Here is my question to the community development director and village staffers: If you plan on advertising the place as apartments will you disclose to the renters that eventually you plan on changing their rental unit into a condo? This is critical to anyone renting a unit. Most people rent an apartment because they cannot afford to buy a home, townhouse, etc., due to some financial hardship. If this information is not given to the person renting a unit before a lease is signed, we will be looking at another financial crisis. Renters will be evicted or forced out once the village decides it is time to change back to condos.

Please put the people first when finalizing this plan. The condo issue must be a separate legal document that the renter signs, not just a "blurb" in the thousand-page rental agreement. Make sure that all parties involved are aware that at any time, the development board can and will take away their apartment. Of course, they will have the option to buy, but in the event the renter cannot afford to purchase a condo, please make sure they are aware of the timeline the developer will give them in order to start looking for a new place to live.

It goes without saying, but "renter beware."

Helen Clark

Algonquin

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