Developers of Huntley Outlet Center ordered to make repairs to building

HUNTLEY – Developers of the Huntley Outlet Center have been ordered by the court to make several repairs under an “aggressive schedule” to the vacated building, a village attorney said.

An injunction and emergency relief against investors was granted to the village Wednesday by Judge Kevin Costello, and several repairs were ordered to be made throughout the month of March, according to a preliminary injunction order Wednesday.

The center has sat vacant since its last store closed in May.

Since then, pipes in the building have burst, and people have entered the mall without permission, vandalized the food court and damaged walls in some stores, according to a complaint filed by the village in McHenry County court.

Huntley Investment Partner’s lawyer, Michael McNerney, said he is unsure how much the repairs will cost. The investment company has gone back and forth with the village in recent months about what to rezone and develop with the site.

Developers violated numerous provisions of the village’s fire code, and the court has ordered it to restore the fire suppression and alarm systems to full working order, and reheat the building, among other repairs, according to the complaint.

“It’s an unfortunate situation that the village had to bring this lawsuit to get them to comply,” village attorney Tom Burney said. “I think the jury is still out [on whether they are making repairs], but it’s been a long slog.”

On Feb. 16, the court ruled that the developers must establish a fire watch by Feb. 19 and remove all combustible materials from all the buildings.

Developers have hired an outside contractor to conduct the fire watch, McNerney said.

The fire watch will end once the fire suppression and alarm systems are working and the building is boarded up to guard against unauthorized entry.

Burney said he saw about 100 broken sprinkler heads that will need to be repaired, along with electrical problems.

Other repairs listed in the order include:

• All buildings should be secured from unauthorized entry, with doors and other access points secured by Friday and glass surfaces boarded by March 23.

• Gas meters must be reinstalled no later than March 16.

• The fire sprinkler and fire alarm systems must be repaired by March 23 and inspected by a fire marshal by March 30.

• All electrical service to tenant spaces must be shut off by Friday. All combustible material must be removed by March 16.

• Broken ceiling tiles, tenant walls and penetrations must be repaired by March 30.

A status meeting is set for May if developers stay on schedule, Burney said.

“There is no reason to go to court unless they aren’t following the order, which is in effect until the court rules otherwise,” Burney said. “It’ll basically confirm compliance.”

The Prime Group Inc. owner Michael Reschke could not be reached for comment.

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