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updated: 1/13/2014 11:58 PM

Prospect Hts. approves sale of piece of arena land

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The Prospect Heights City Council agreed Monday to sell just over 2 acres and a 31,000-square-foot building it still owns from the failed arena project of the 1990s.

Stery Trucking of Buffalo Grove has agreed to pay $1.5 million for the land and building at 31-33 E. Palatine Road. The company repairs truck semitrailers, said Mayor Nick Helmer, and owners would like to consolidate its office and other facilities around the suburbs.

The purchaser has 45 days to do work such as soil tests and get a mortgage and governmental approvals. These include a 6B, a Cook County program that greatly reduces the property tax assessment on rehabbed industrial property for a number of years. Closing is expected in 75 days.

Steve Skiber, director of building and zoning, said he thinks Stery plans to rehab the existing building.

After the sale, the city will still own 12 vacant acres from the arena project. Prospect Heights borrowed $5.4 million to purchase the land.

"There's been interest in the other property, but it hasn't been productive, Helmer said after the meeting. The prices offered were not good enough, he said.

He is pleased with the price for the 2 acres because the last offer the city got was $800,000. The property is on the south side of Palatine Road between Milwaukee Avenue and Wolf Road.

The city will continue to store equipment rent free on the property for eight months after closing. Prospect Heights plans to use grant funds to build an addition for equipment at the public works garage nearby at 401 E. Piper Lane.

In 2012 the city decided not to sell the land for an asphalt plant after neighbors objected.

The arena plan was abandoned in 2004 when voters rejected issuing an additional $25 million in bonds to fund the project.

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