Bears' development LLC back active after state listed it as not in good standing

A limited liability company the Chicago Bears set up more than a year ago as part of its possible purchase and redevelopment of Arlington Park is back in active status with the state after it was listed as not in good standing as recently as late last week.

CBFC Development LLC, an affiliate of Chicago Bears Football Club Inc., failed to file an annual report and pay a $75 fee on or before its Sept. 2, 2021 organization date to the Office of the Secretary of State's Department of Business Services.

But the annual report - a one-page form - was filed by the LLC last Friday after the Daily Herald asked the Secretary of State's office about it a day earlier.

On Tuesday, a Bears spokesman confirmed the necessary document was submitted and fee paid.

"We are in good standing with the Secretary of State's office," said Scott Hagel, the club's senior vice president of marketing and communications.

The LLC is listed in the title of the draft nine-page predevelopment agreement with the village of Arlington Heights. The deal suggests future zoning changes and public financing that could make the club's $5 billion redevelopment vision for the 326-acre property a reality. The document - referred to by village and team officials as a "road map" for possible future actions, but still constituting nothing official - is pending a vote by the village board on Nov. 7.

Even while in "not good standing," the Bears could have transacted business in Illinois, but the development LLC was in jeopardy of being dissolved by December, according to Terrence McConville, a senior attorney for the department of business services.

The department sends businesses annual reminder notices to renew their registration two months before it is due to expire, followed by a notice of delinquency a month after expiration, and a final notice of dissolution a month and a half later, McConville said.

"They essentially get three bites at the apple, if you will," he said.

Bears officials wouldn't say why the registration lapsed, but McConville chalked it up to likely clerical oversight. Because the LLC was organized in 2021, this was the first time the club had to file an annual report.

"It may have ended up on somebody's desk that didn't know what was going on or what to do with it," McConville said. "And this is not unusual. It happens to business organizations, whether it's the LLC, a corporation or a partnership. Things happen."

But, he added, "they don't want to be in a situation if nothing else from a public relations standpoint where it shows that they're not in good standing here in Illinois."

The NFL franchise's corporation entity - filed with the state on Jan. 8, 1982 - is in active status after its annual report was filed Dec. 10, 2021, according to state records.

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