RF – Chicago Tribune – Groundbreaking

Construction at River Forest’s Lake-Lathrop building finally begins

A long-delayed development project in River Forest finally broke ground

Chicago Tribune
February 14, 2022
Bob Goldsborough

A long-delayed mixed-use development project in River Forest finally broke ground in early February at the southwest corner of Lake Street and Lathrop Avenue.

First approved in September 2018, the four-story building, to be built at 7601-7613 W. Lake Street, would contain 22 residential units, on-site parking and about 14,000 square feet of first-floor commercial space, all on a 0.72-acre site. For three years, developer Sedgwick Development had been beset by delays on the project, due to issues related to land assembly, environmental remediation and — for a time — a lack of condominium pre-sales.

In October, the River Forest Village Board gave Sedgwick one final deadline to start construction by no later than Jan. 23. Sedgwick then secured a permit for site work on the project in November — including removing several feet of soil that is unsuitable for construction — and then site excavation began in late December and continued into January. However, due to delays related to COVID-19 and the Omicron variant, Sedgwick was not able to receive its loan from Wintrust Bank, so the Village Board gave Sedgwick until Feb. 4 to close on its construction loan. Sedgwick wound up closing on that loan on Feb. 2.

With that, River Forest officials issued Sedgwick a full building permit to construct the building.

“They’re on their way,” River Forest Village President Catherine Adduci told Pioneer Press, referring to Sedgwick’s construction. “They have started bona fide construction, and the foundation is all there already.”

Mark McKinney, Sedgwick’s director of project operations, told Pioneer Press/Chicago Tribune that the company has signed sales contracts for about 60 percent of the condominium units. He added that while his firm has had specific conversations with potential tenants — largely in the restaurant and “med-tail” sectors — the company hasn’t yet finalized any leases.

The village’s building permit gives Sedgwick 18 months to complete the project, which means that much of the work should be done before year-end.

“It’s going to be a nice development,” Adduci said.


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