The company that owns the Monarch Landing property straddling the Naperville-Warrenville border is looking to sell roughly 24 acres that once was a part of the senior living campus at Route 59 and Ferry Road.
To make the deal possible, Naperville Senior Care LLC wants the DuPage County Board to approve a plan to remove the vacant land from a special taxing district.
Eleven years ago, the county board created a special service area to pay for roughly $15 million in public improvements to the Monarch Landing property when it was first being developed. DuPage got involved because the 76-acre site is in two municipalities -- roughly 58 acres is in Naperville and the rest is in Warrenville.
The special service area created a mechanism for Monarch Landing residents to pay back the 2006 loan over time.
But Erickson Retirement Communities, the not-for-profit company that started Monarch Landing, went bankrupt in 2010. And Naperville Senior Care, which purchased the property out of bankruptcy in 2010, doesn't believe it needs the entire 76 acres to complete the senior living campus.
"They've just determined that the original intent -- the original size of the community -- was too large," said Russell G. Whitaker III, an attorney representing Naperville Senior Care. "The market wasn't going to support it."
During a presentation for county board members this week, Whitaker said the project originally was approved for 1,654 living units. That would be "much larger" than similar developments, he said.
In 2014, Naperville Senior Care started working with Naperville and Warrenville officials to "right-size the campus," according to Whitaker.
A decision was made to split off roughly 24 acres from the rest of the campus so it could be developed. The vacant parcel is next to an industrial park with warehouses, offices and an indoor trampoline park.
Whitaker said there's now a plan to use the 24 acres to expand the light industrial use.
"We have a potential purchaser of that property," Whitaker said. "They are looking to develop roughly 300,000 square feet of new industrial space."
In order for the sale to happen, the parcel must be removed from the special service area. "The tax makes industrial development not possible on the property," Whitaker said.
So Naperville Senior Care wants to refinance the outstanding debt from the 2006 bonds so a new special service area could be created. The new special taxing district would only cover the senior living campus.
Whitaker said the goal is to structure the new loan so Monarch Landing residents won't pay more than they're paying now. The loan would be repaid the same year as the original one.
"We see this as a very good opportunity," Whitaker said. "There's no new cost to residents. At the same time, we're facilitating a redevelopment opportunity."
An ordinance to begin the process of establishing the special service area is expected to be considered by the county board on July 18. Before a final vote on the special service area could happen in November, a public hearing must be held and opponents must be given the opportunity to file petitions.