Sale of former Motorola campus in Harvard could take months, attorney says

  • The Harvard property that formerly housed a Motorola manufacturing and distribution site has been vacant for nearly 20 years.

    The Harvard property that formerly housed a Motorola manufacturing and distribution site has been vacant for nearly 20 years. Scott Anderson/Shaw Media

 
 
Updated 8/19/2021 4:21 PM

It could be several months before Harvard's former Motorola campus is sold, an attorney with the U.S. Marshals Service said Wednesday.

The agency is continuing to market the property at 2001 N. Division St. without a formal call for offers, U.S. Department of Justice representative Mary Butler said at a court hearing in McHenry County.

 

However, a sale isn't likely to be completed within the next 90 days, Butler said.

The property that formerly housed a Motorola manufacturing and distribution site has been vacant for nearly 20 years. A Canadian company called Green Data Real Estate Inc. hoped to buy the more than 300-acre campus for use as a data center and rentable business spaces but missed its final closing deadline in July.

The property since has been "offered for sale again to a qualified buyer," according to a report the U.S. Marshals Service filed last week in McHenry County court.

Green Data CEO Jason Bak said last week his company is "continuing to work on closing conditions for the acquisition."

It was not immediately clear who else might be interested in the property, which would require extensive mold remediation and other repairs to bring it within health and safety guidelines.

The campus is the largest taxpayer within the city of Harvard and Harvard School District 50, but taxes haven't been paid on the property since 2017.

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On Aug. 6, the marshals service put $500,000 toward those taxes using a portion of the nonrefundable money that Green Data already had paid for the property.

The most recent owner, Xiao Hua "Edward" Gong, bought the space in April 2016 at an online auction for $9.3 million. Gong was arrested in Canada on fraud charges in 2018, and allowed property taxes on the campus to go delinquent in September 2017. Although he redeemed them later in the year, the taxes went delinquent again.

An Ohio-based digital signage company attempted to buy the property and pay some of those taxes, but backed out last summer after receiving pushback from the previous owner while criminal proceedings were ongoing in Canada.

City and county officials have expressed concerns that if the property isn't placed in the right hands soon, it could deteriorate beyond repair.

Attorneys are scheduled to meet again via Zoom on Oct. 18 for an update on the status of a sale.

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