A press release has arrived from Lakewood Village President Erin Smith about the financing of the McHenry County SportsPlex, which the village approved for the west side of Route 47 opposite the south leg of Route 176. Here it is:
Village President, Erin Smith, made the following statement regarding the Sports Complex proposed for development on the west side of Route 47, just south of Route 176:
“The Village of Lakewood was informed yesterday that the sale of bonds required to finance the Sports Complex will not be completed by the December 31st deadline as required for Recovery Zone financing.
“Missing this deadline means the project forfeits eligibility for $18M in tax-advantaged Recovery Zone Bonds.
“These bonds were first approved by the McHenry County Board and then transferred to the Upper Illinois River Valley Development Authority (UIRVDA).
“This news is disappointing, but does not mean that the project will not proceed.
“Andrew Hamilton, Executive Director of UIRVDA, reaffirmed UIRVDA’s continued support of the project today. UIRVDA has the authority to issue taxable bonds which could replace the Recovery Zone portion of financing.
“A representative from Stern Brothers, the firm responsible for the sale of the bonds, indicated they have identified investors interested in purchasing the bonds, but the terms and conditions of the sale could not be finalized by December 31st.
“I am proud of the way our Village Board and Village Staff have supported this project and grateful for the support we have received from elected officials at the County, State and Federal levels.
“There is risk associated with any commercial development and, recognizing this risk, the Village Board has not committed any tax dollars from Lakewood or McHenry County residents.
“We will meet with the development team after the holiday to assess the impact
of the delay in financing.
“Lakewood remains strongly committed to commercial development along the Route 47 corridor and we are hopeful that the Sports Complex will be an integral part of our plan.
“We are also confident that other suitable projects will come forward as the intersection of two major State highways makes this one of the most desirable development locations in the County.”