Gilberts subdivision moves forward with village bonds

The building of The Conservancy subdivision in Gilberts, ultimately projected to have 985 homes, is moving forward after the village borrowed $20.8 million for infrastructure.

So far 135 homes have been built with about 125 occupied in the subdivision at Galligan and Freeman roads, developer Troy Mertz said.

The $20.8 million bond issue last week will fund the expansion of the water treatment plant, two new wells and improvements to Freeman Road, all of which will support further building at The Conservancy. Engineers anticipate the water plant and well work will start this month and last through June 2020, Village Administrator Brian Bourdeau said.

The bond issue included the refinancing of $15 million in bonds dating back to 2007, when there was another developer, Bourdeau said.

"It did take some time to get all the details worked out because it was such a large issue," Bourdeau said, adding the total is less than the overall $30 million the village had anticipated in 2007.

"This is positive news for the entire village," he said.

The bonds will be repaid by a special service area of taxation limited to The Conservancy. In the event of default, liability would not fall upon the village, Bourdeau said.

Mertz, whose office is in Elmhurst, gave the subdivision new life in 2014 after the original developer filed for bankruptcy. Building gets done in phases and, if everything proceeds at the current pace, the subdivision will be built out in another eight years, he said.

The builder is Ryan Homes and prices range from $300,000 to $550,000 for mostly three- and four-bedrooms, Mertz said.

The total project has estimated development expenses of about $400 million, Mertz said. All homes will have access to a fiber optic network, which Mertz said he chose to add for an additional $1 million in development costs.

"It's been a real positive experience working with the village," he said. "They have absolutely been a business-friendly environment. They understand the issues that we needed to work through, and together we have been collaborative in accomplishing our goals."

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