Extension sought on Riverside Plaza work

Algonquin project’s developer needs financing for another 90 days

ALGONQUIN – With a deadline of Oct. 16 to begin interior construction of Riverside Plaza, the project’s developer might get a 90-day extension if he can secure financing by the end of the week.

The Village Board on Tuesday approved an extension to start the interior work of the Riverside Plaza project if John Breugelmans can secure an $11 million loan.

Breugelmans had a deadline in two weeks to start construction on 63 luxury rental apartments. If he had not met that deadline, the village stipulated the development would have reverted back to the original plan of 54 luxury condos.

Under the new agreement, Breugelmans has until Friday to secure $11 million in financing for the interior construction of the building.

Village Manager Tim Schloneger said financing is expected to be finalized soon.

If financing is in place, then Breugelmans would have a new Jan. 16 deadline. By then he would need to have submitted revised plans, obtained building permits and have interior construction underway.

Almost a year ago, the village gave the OK to change the development to rental apartments from condos, with an agreement that the units eventually would switch back to owner-occupied dwellings.

Breugelmans was unable to get the necessary financing to build luxury condos, which could take years to sell. He said last year that banks might be willing to finance rental developments.

“Like anything, it’s market conditions,” Schloneger said. “I give credit to John Breugelmans for working with [his] lender to get financing in place. A lot of projects have stalled and haven’t gotten to that point.”

Phone calls to Breugelmans were not returned.

Breugelmans has said he plans to build 750-square-foot to 1,430-square-foot luxury apartments that would rent for $1,100 to $1,800 a month.

The project, which is at the intersection of Route 62 and Route 31 in downtown Algonquin, has been a struggle for developers.

Before Breugelmans and Lakeland Asset Management took over the property, the building stood unfinished for two years. The exterior of Riverside Plaza has since been completed, but the interior remains an empty shell.

“The reality is it’s a large investment in our downtown and community, which will turn something that has been stalled and delayed and at one point was an eyesore into a significant ... investment into into our downtown and springboard other positive things for downtown,” Schloneger said.

In other action:

The Algonquin Village Board approved rules that prohibit people from having porcelain pictures on cemetery monuments.

It is a long-standing practice that was codified Tuesday of not allowing photographs on cemetery monuments. Schloneger has said the restriction is an effort to “maintain a uniform appearance and aesthetically pleasing environment in the cemetery.”

If pictures affixed to monuments were damaged, then the village would be responsible for fixing or replacing the photographs, which cost $225 to $1,000 each, Schloneger said.

The board also approved a special-use permit for Dr. Nina Pregont to operate Natural Expressions Naprapathy. Pregont said this week she hopes to open in a 900-square-foot office at 270 Stonegate Road by November.

Board members also approved the annexation of 26 acres along North River Road that would allow for the construction of the River Ridge Estates subdivision, which is slated to have 25 houses.