Local Elections

Early voting begins in Litchfield parcel sale election

Voters will decide May 17 if the city can sell off downtown parcels over $1.5M

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Early voting has begun April 20 in Litchfield Park, ahead of the city’s all-mail special election on May 17, in which voters will decide the fate of the city’s planned downtown core.

Between 2014 and 2017 the city of Litchfield Park purchased roughly 30 acres of land on the southeast corner of Litchfield Road and Village Parkway. Those pieces of land — once privately owned, but now in the hands of the city — are the future site of the long-awaited Litchfield Square development.

City leadership seeks to sell or lease seven lots totaling about seven acres of land to developers, but before the city can move forward on sales that exceed $1.5 million, it’ll need a stamp of approval from voters this May.

The city will retain ownership of an additional five acres (or 6 parcels) of land at Litchfield Square that will eventually be used for parking or parking garage development, according to the city.

So far, just one parcel has sold at an amount of $600,000, but city leaders expect some of the larger parcels could go for much more in the future, especially if developers are purchasing more than one parcel.

“We’re getting the approval ahead of time,” Mayor Thomas Schoaf told The Independent, “so we don’t have to come back and try to do it later.”

The city stated that it will be obtaining broker assessments for each parcel to determine their value and that “lot prices will naturally increase” as construction gets underway and lots are built out.

The city has contracted with Jones Lang LaSalle for the marketing and sales of available parcels, which range in size from 25,560 to 78,402 square feet.

JLL will release its request for proposal–an open request for bids– “in the next few months,” according to the city, which stated that it is looking for developers to build a mix-use project including retail, restaurant, office space and luxury residential. Once the space is developed, it is expected to be rented out for $30 to $33 per square foot.

The RFP process will be open to the public, according to the city.

Madeline Ackley Salazar can be reached at mackley@iniusa.org or found on Twitter @Mkayackley.

Litchfield Park, election, Litchfield, parcels, City Center, Litchfield Square, local elections

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