Lisle Park District has purchased four acres at 4S281 Leask Lane, near the intersection of Warrenville Road, to meet open space needs in the northwest corner of the district, officials said Thursday.
Director of Parks and Recreation Dan Garvy said the district bought the site for $525,000 from the Bruce A. Germain Trust to better serve residents in the Pine Hill, Exeter, Canterbury, Corporate Woods and Hunt Club of Corporate Woods neighborhoods.
Tate Woods Park is only a couple blocks away, he said, but requires Leask Lane residents to cross two potentially dangerous streets, Warrenville Road and Yackley Avenue, to reach it.
During the next six months, Garvy said, the park district plans to remove unwanted vegetation from the newly acquired property and allow the Lisle-Woodridge Fire District to practice on the lot's lone house before razing the building.
Once the house and vegetation are gone, the district likely will install picnic tables and maintain the property as open space for the immediate future.
When the capital budget allows, Garvy said district officials will meet with Leask Lane residents to discuss possible development of the land as a neighborhood park that someday could include a playground, walking trails, a picnic shelter and a small parking lot. The focus, however, would remain on "passive use" with no plans for sports fields.
"It could take years for us to do something (about development)," Garvy said. "We didn't buy it just for today, we bought it for forever."
Garvy said the district had its eye on the property for a while. But officials balked when they learned in February 2011 that the asking price was slightly more than $1.2 million.
A year later, he said the "Lisle rumor mill" indicated the owner might be willing to lower the price and in March the district submitted its $525,000 offer. The owner initially rejected the proposal but in July agreed to accept it.
Garvy said the asking price for similar parcels in the area is closer to $900,000. "We got a heck of a deal and we couldn't be happier," he said.