Source: Lake Geneva Regional News

CDA seeking developers for Headquarters site

by Rob Ireland

February 02, 2012

FONTANA — The village’s Community Development Authority is hoping to entice someone to develop the former Headquarters building, which could help pump some funds into its Tax Increment District.

On Jan. 11, the CDA directed the village’s staff to put a request for proposals out for the site. Potential developers have until April 30 to submit their plans to the CDA.

The former Headquarters building is located on a half-acre site at 138 Fontana Blvd., which is at the northeast corner of Highway 67 and Fontana Boulevard.

“We shouldn’t sit idle on vacant developable land,” Village Administrator Kelly Hayden said Monday.

According to the CDA minutes, restaurateur Peter Novak, who owns Novak’s Restaurant, has expressed an interest in developing the property.

This isn’t the first time the village has attempted to develop the Headquarters site. Up until 2007, Headquarters was a hair salon, which closed when the owner retired.

About a year later, the CDA purchased the building and adjacent vacant lot for $350,000 with plans to redevelop it in the future.

At the beginning of 2011, the village started working with Brian Pollard, the president of Fairwyn Development Corporation, to develop the site and return it to the tax roll.

Ultimately, Pollard made an offer to purchase the building. The Village Board and CDA met jointly in closed session July 1 to consider a Real Estate Option from Pollard to purchase the property. The offer was rejected for financial reasons.

The amount of the rejected offer wasn’t publicly released because it was discussed in closed session. However, the two groups only met for 10 minutes to discuss the offer, and, during an August CDA meeting, Commissioner Jay Hicks indicated the offer was far too low.

About the RFP

In a pitch to developers, the RFP reports the lower level of the property is a former hair salon and the upper level is a residential unit.

“The property is surrounded by several popular restaurants, Reid Park, a public beach and Beach House,” the report states. “The Abbey Resort Condominium Hotel and Spa is located directly across the street.”

When evaluating the proposals, the village will consider financial viability, ability to provide an economic benefit to the TID, the developer’s expertise, the attentiveness the proposal has to the surrounding area and the proposal’s conformance with the needs and interests of the village.

The former Headquarters site isn’t the only place the village has an interest in development. There also is a site located at the Duck Pond Recreation Center, which has potential development opportunities.

Last year, the village put out an RFP for developing that site, but no one submitted a proposal.