Source: Lake Geneva Regional News

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Negotiations for Headquarters sale end

by Rob Ireland

July 21, 2011

Fontana — The village is no longer negotiating the sale of the former Headquarters building with developer Brian Pollard.

On July 6, the Village Board and Community Development Authority met for about 10 minutes in closed session to discuss an option to purchase the building located at 138 Fontana Boulevard.

Pollard submitted a Real Estate Option to purchase the property July 1, which both the CDA and Village Board rejected for financial reasons.

In open session, after the CDA rejected the offer, it asked the village's staff to schedule a meeting for the group to review the development and leasing options for the property.

Village Administrator Kelly Hayden said the CDA is scheduled to meet Aug. 3 to talk about what to do next with the property. It could seek another developer for the site or lease out the building.

In September 2007, Headquarters — a former hair saloon — closed its doors. About a year later, the CDA purchased the building and the adjacent vacant lot for $350,000 with plans to redevelop it in the future.

At the beginning of the year, the village began working with Pollard, the president of Fairwyn Development Corporation, to develop the site and return it to the tax roll.

Pollard, who resides in Lake Geneva, said in February his conceptual plan was to build retail spaces and offices on the first floor and condominiums on the second.

Previously, Pollard and the village partnered together to redevelop sites in Fontana including Mill Street.

The Village Board purchased the area that is now the Hildebrand Conservancy and Mill Street when it was vacant land.

The village and developer teamed up on redeveloping that site. Pollard sold off the developable portion of Mill Street, and the village maintained ownership of the conservancy.

The Headquarters building isn't the only location the village has looked at improving. It recently put out a request for proposal for a developable portion of the Duck Pond Recreation area.

However, no one formally responded to the request.

Both the Headquarters and Duck Pond Recreation area are part of the village's tax incremental financing district. Financially the TIF is operating at a deficit — which occurred after a sudden, unexpected change to how the Department of Revenue values the district.

A new development to either site would be help relieve some of the deficit within the TIF district.