Hoffman Estates approves pact to save Bergman farmhouse
Hoffman Estates officials voted 5-2 Monday to approve a three-party agreement for the renovation and future title transfer of the 117-year-old Bergman family farmhouse at the northwest corner of Algonquin and Ela roads.
The agreement, which seeks to guarantee the future of the historic house as a private residence, comes nine months after what village board members had intended to be the deadline to either find an interested developer or demolish the structure.
But while the majority of the board is pleased the house is likely to carry on as a family home, the original plan to find someone to restore it for use as a public amenity found no backers.
Trustee Karen Mills, one of the two to vote against the agreement, said the reason was her disappointment over the failure of that plan.
Trustee Michael Gaeta also voted no because he saw no reason for the village to be involved in an exchange of property between developers.
"I still don't like the idea that we're getting involved at all," he said.
Chad Evans, manager of CASE Properties LLC, ultimately came forward with a plan to restore the house as a residence.
In 2015, M/I Homes began construction on an 81-home subdivision on the 37-acre former farm. But the company made it clear it's in the business of building new homes, not restoring old structures like the farmhouse.
Under the new agreement, CASE Properties will submit a cost estimate to the village as well as 110 percent of that cost in an account to guarantee completion of the project.
If an occupancy permit is issued by July 31, 2018, M/I Homes would transfer the deed to the house to CASE Properties for resale to a new owner. But if that deadline is missed, ownership would transfer to the village, which would use $55,000 of CASE Properties' deposited funds to cover the cost of demolition.
The village has no financial stake in the project, as was always the board's top priority.