Developer John Breugelmans told the Lake Zurich village board, Monday night, during public comment, that, while he has been rejected numerous times, he is still interested in developing in downtown Lake Zurich.
In a split decision, the board decided to allow Breugelmans’ presentation at the next meeting.
Breugelmans told the board that the formal process they are currently undertaking is slow and could take until 2015 until there is any activity on Block A, across from the Promenade.
“My proposal is to revive the 2012 project. I ask the board to approve that I can be put on the agenda for the next board meeting to give the detailed proposal. Sixty days after, I a can start a project and provide proof of finance,” he said.
Trustees discussed Breugelmans’ offer at the end of the meeting. Some trustees thought it would be disruptive to the RFQ/RFP process that the board agreed to follow last October. Others thought it couldn’t hurt to entertain his proposal. His proposal had the highest rating by village consultant Teska of the four developers that were rejected last summer.
“Unfortunately we were down this road eight months ago when we tried to get something going, but the board decided to wait and go with the RFQ,” Trustee Terry Mastandrea said. He said he would not want to entertain Breugelmans’ proposal, only because village staff is so close to getting the RFQ out.
The RFQ/RFP process is one in which the village first asks potential developers for an RFQ, Request for Qualifications. In the second step of the process, the village chooses a few developers and asks them to provide RFPs, Request for Proposals.
Village Manager Jason Slowinski expressed concern that the village couldn’t allow developers to approach the board on an individual basis while going through the formal RFQ process.
“If we’re working with a developer outside of the established process, who is going to go through the established process? I think that is the reality of it. Either we continue with the process or we entertain developers on an individual basis. I don’t know that you can do both,” Slowinski said.
“We should have had an RFQ, RFP out last summer. We all understand the urgency of the TIF. I’ve been one of the biggest supporters since day one for the RFQ/RFP process, but I’m concerned about the time frame,” Trustee Jeff Halen said.
“Why are we walking away from a guy who says he has financing? He wants one presentation meeting. I don’t think it affects the process. It’s not like we have developers pounding down the door,” Trustee Tom Poynton said.
In a vote, Trustees Poynton, Rich Sustich, Halen and Jonathon Sprawka voted to allow Breugelman’s presentation. Trustees Mastandrea and Dana Rzeznik voted to continue with the RFQ/RFP process. Village President Suzanne Branding does not vote, but expressed interest in continuing with the RFQ/RFP process.
Branding said the village already spent the time and energy on the RFQ process and she feared other developers would want to approach the board individually, thereby disrupting the process.
Breugelmans will be allowed to make a presentation at the April 1 meeting.