Carol Stream Library puts Kuhn Road site on market

If you're looking to purchase vacant land in Carol Stream and have $1.8 million, make your offer to the Carol Stream Public Library.

The 7½-acre property at 2N540 Kuhn Road — once earmarked for a new library — is now officially on the market, following the library board's 6-1 decision last month to sell the property.

A notice published Thursday in the Daily Herald said the property will be sold in “as-is” condition, while the final terms, price and conditions of sale must be mutually agreed upon by the buyer and library board.

The site consists of two contiguous parcels to the south of the College of DuPage's satellite campus.

The library purchased the property in 2003 with an eye toward building a new library there. But voters rejected calls for a new facility in three separate referendum questions — and by larger margins each time — spurring some board members to recommend the land be sold.

The property, which is being listed by Wheaton-based Realty Executives Premiere, is zoned for houses. A late 19th century-era house, once owned by longtime Carol Stream residents Richard and Betty Lou Kammes, was demolished earlier this year at the site. A garage and barn also were removed.

The Kammeses sold the land to the library with the desire it be maintained for public use.

Under state law, the village has the first right to buy or lease the land as the library's corporate authority, but Village Manager Joe Breinig said officials are choosing to reserve that right until other offers have been made.

In that way, he said, village officials can get a better idea of what the market determines the property is worth.

“If the intent is to allow the community to maintain the land as an asset, it doesn't make sense to do it at the very beginning if we don't have an idea of the actual value of the land,” Breinig said. “The statute affords us the opportunity (to buy or lease) once circumstances are a little more defined.”

Last month, the library board solicited opinions from two real estate companies for estimates on the property's value. Realty Executives estimated the land to be worth $1,897,000, and Re/Max Associates West in Bartlett valued the land at $1,167,000.

A May 2011 appraisal by North Aurora-based Krueger Appraisal Services estimated the value at $580,000.

Library board President Mike Wade said he thinks the price is right, based on prices for 12 other vacant properties.

“The property is listed in the right ballpark for what other properties in Carol Stream and other areas are selling for,” Wade said. “There's no need now to lower the price. It's already at a competitive value. We're not in any hurry to sell the property. We feel it's only going to go up in value.”

Wade said there isn't a timeline for when he'd like the property to be sold, but he expressed confidence based on feedback from Realtors that there are buyers looking for property in Carol Stream.

Sheryl Duncan of Realty Executives told the library board in November that “people are out there and they're looking all the time.”

“Some builders are standing back and waiting to see what happens,” she said. “Most of these people who call have the money.”

Meanwhile, park district spokeswoman Julie Vogl said discussions continue among park officials about a potential lease deal for use of the Kuhn Road property. The land would be used as park space until the time it is sold.

Wade has said the library board likely would favor a lease deal with the park district — even if it is a temporary arrangement.

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