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Article posted: 5/17/2013 5:21 PM

Lake Zurich board to consider agreement with potential downtown developer

By Bob Susnjara

Lake Zurich village board members will consider an agreement with a developer who last month received an exclusive 75-day window to show he can create a project to revitalize part of downtown.

Operating as LZ Promenade LLC, developer John Breugelmans wants to construct a four-story building on roughly 2 acres overlooking the village's namesake lake. His plan on the village-owned property calls for a mixed-use structure with 60 rental apartments that eventually would be converted to condominiums, along with a restaurant, bar, coffee shop and ice-cream parlor.

At Monday's village board session, trustees will be asked to approve the agreement related to the 75-day exclusive period Breugelmans has had for the land since April 1. Breugelmans would have to make a $10,000 deposit for the public property, using certified funds, within 48 hours of village board approval, according to what's called an agreement of understanding.

On Friday, Breugelmans declined to discuss how much progress he's made on the proposal. However, he said other areas targeted for the long-dormant downtown redevelopment likely would attract developer interest if his project leads the way.

"The bees always go to the honey," he said.

If approved, the agreement requires Breugelmans to provide "satisfactory proof" to village officials that he has adequate, available financing to complete the project. His deadline for this would be June 7.

Lake Zurich also is demanding Breugelmans "and any other legal entity making the development proposal as owner, his partner or participant" certify being financially sound, current in all obligations and not owing money to any other governmental unit. The proposed agreement also states Breugelmans or others in the project must certify they have not declared bankruptcy or defaulted on a loan in the past seven years.

What's proposed for the 2-acre site is similar to a project Breugelmans and noted architect Lucien Lagrange pitched to Lake Zurich officials last year. The property was described as suitable for "destination retail" in a July 2012 presentation submitted to the village.

Lagrange is known for his design of Park Tower, the Blackstone Hotel renovation and other high-profile work in Chicago. He is listed on the Lake Zurich renderings included in the proposed agreement with Breugelmans that the village board will vote on Monday. He's now with HKS Lucien Lagrange Studio.

Lucien Lagrange Architects Ltd. filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in federal court in July 2010, documents show. He did not address his involvement in the Lake Zurich proposal or the bankruptcy Friday.

"Because I'm a client, I don't want to talk about it," he said.

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