Last chance for Hoffman Estates farmhouse: Builder has until June 18 to prove intent

  • Hoffman Estates village board members are giving a builder until June 18 to prove his intention to restore the 119-year-old Bergman family farmhouse by making the required $290,000 escrow fund guaranteeing the work due that day.

    Hoffman Estates village board members are giving a builder until June 18 to prove his intention to restore the 119-year-old Bergman family farmhouse by making the required $290,000 escrow fund guaranteeing the work due that day. Daily Herald file photo, 2016

 
 
Posted6/4/2019 5:27 AM

Hoffman Estates officials are putting their faith in the planned restoration of the 119-year-old Bergman family farmhouse one last time -- but they're emphasizing that the agreement enabling it would be canceled within 24 hours if they're proved wrong.

Village board members voted 6-1 Monday for an amendment to the existing agreement to be prepared for consideration on June 17, with Trustee Michael Gaeta dissenting.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

The amendment, in part, would extend the completion deadline for the project from Aug. 31 to Nov. 30.

Chad Evans, manager of CASE Properties LLC, which is proposing the restoration, said the required $290,000 escrow account guaranteeing either completion or enough money to demolish the house would be funded the day after the amendment were approved.

That's why the proposed amendment would give him only to June 18 to fund the escrow account before it would declare the whole agreement null and void.

"There's a certain amount of cynicism on the village board," Mayor Bill McLeod explained to Evans.

Last month the village board stated that without a clear effort from CASE Properties to move forward with the project by Monday, trustees would consider immediately canceling the agreement allowing for restoration of the home on Algonquin Road west of Ela Road.

The agreement among the village, CASE Properties and developer M/I Homes was reached in June 2017 but never acted upon despite periodic extensions.

The idea of preserving the house was born in 2015 as M/I Homes began building the 81-home Bergman Pointe subdivision on the surrounding property. M/I Homes had no interest in restoring the old house but didn't oppose another party's doing so.

The village board's original hope was to preserve the house as some kind of public amenity, but the two proposals that emerged in 2016 were to restore it for private residential use.

Of the two, only that of CASE Properties demonstrated sufficient financial resources to guarantee completion of the project.

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