Published Oct. 9, 2008
Hinsdale Club developer pulls out,
$3.2 million in sales tax dollars lost
Developers of The Hinsdale
Club announced they will no longer go through with the
multi-million dollar retail and hotel project on Ogden
Avenue because of difficulty dealing with the village.
In a letter to Village
President Mike Woerner Monday, Peter Brennan of Foxford
Development said his most recent attempt to make minor
changes to the proposed plan were met with insult from
trustees, which led him to cancel the deal. Changes
included reducing one retails building from three floors
to one floor and doing away with an underground parking
“All we have been forced to do
is fight, litigate and fight some more,” Brennan wrote
in his letter.
The $3.2 million in sales tax
revenue the development was slated to bring would have
meant $1.1 million for the village and $2.1 million for
local school districts. Brennan’s letter said it’s the
board’s fault the community won’t see this revenue.
“It has become blatantly
obvious that we would have to battle for every single
approval, permit or other effort that requires the
involvement of the village board and/or a minority group
of residents that have this community in gridlock,” he
Once Woerner finished reading
the letter at Tuesday night’s board meeting, Trustee
Mike Smith walked out. Trustee Bob Schultz claimed Smith
verbally abused Foxford developers during a recent
zoning and public safety committee meeting and
recommended he be removed as chairman.
One of Smith’s concerns about
the development was the possibility of a CVS pharmacy at
the location. Smith didn’t like the idea of a drug store
at The Hinsdale Club and claimed the row of store fronts
on Ogden Avenue was going to look like a “strip center,”
according to Brennan’s letter.
“It is insulting to call our
buildings a strip center and it again shows the lack of
commitment on the part of the village to follow the
terms of our approvals and act in support of the
project,” he wrote.
The approval for the CVS
pharmacy was in the original agreement approved by the
board in 2007, before Smith became a trustee. Woerner
said a CVS pharmacy would have brought in high sales tax
returns since the Walgreens at Grant Square is always in
the top 10 revenue generators for the village.
Instead of building high-end
retail shops, restaurants, a hotel and loft apartments,
Foxford will sell off all six parcels, which most likely
will be used as office buildings, generating little to
no tax revenue.
“This is a significant blow to
the village,” Trustee Vic Orler said. “We are doing this
to ourselves. We are driving the stake into our own
hearts. Hinsdale is becoming a ghost town.”
Orler said the loss of this
development will mean tens of millions lost in the
community during the next few decades.
“The net present value would
be $74 million,” he said.
Frustrated, Woerner couldn’t
comprehend how a year ago the project was approved
unanimously and now the developers want nothing to do
“That $3.2 million has to come
from somewhere,” he said. “If it doesn’t come from this,
it’s going to have to come from property taxes. This is
just very unfortunate. It’s just sad.”