Crown Point greenhouse building still for sale after 7 years
By Christin Nance Lazerus firstname.lastname@example.org March 20, 2013 9:48AM
Neighbors of the shuttered and for sale Lake County greenhouse are starting to complain about its eyesore condition.| Andy Lavalley~Sun-Times Media
Updated: March 20, 2013 9:48AM
CROWN POINT — The former Lake County Greenhouse and Florist sits at Indiana and North avenues with a giant FOR SALE sign posted, but it’s still without a new owner after nearly seven years on the market.
Tree branches are bursting through the roofs of the glass greenhouses, and graffiti is visible on doorways of one of the buildings.
Crown Point councilman Bill Feder’s family owns the property, and he would like to see something done with the property that might make it more appealing to would-be buyers. The property is in a tax-increment financing district, where tax revenues are used for improvements to infrastructure, lighting and other needs to encourage investment.
“We would like to get something done,” Feder said. “It’s in a TIF district, so I’ve suggested using TIF dollars as a temporary loan to demolish it, which would be repaid by the buyer.
“The city and the redevelopment commission have already spent $500,000 on facade improvements on the Square.”
But the redevelopment commission is wary of investing in the property without a willing buyer on the horizon, said commission member Keith Stevens.
“If there was an interested third party with a contract or some type of agreement in place, then the redevelopment commission might consider the proposal but there would be no guarantee,” Stephens said. “However, a single-party transaction between the city and a private entity wouldn’t be something we’d be interested in.”
Stevens, who is also Mayor David Uran’s chief of staff, said the redevelopment commission is there to help blighted areas — not to aid in future real estate transactions.