News - McHenry County

Cary looking to sell property along Route 14

People cross the street near the Cary sign at the intersection of West Main Street and Spring Street in Cary on Tuesday, April 25, 2023. The village of Cary is considering a new tax increment financing district in its downtown corridor to help spur new development in the oldest part of its town.

CARY – Nearly eight years after buying 0.76 acres of land along Route 14 in order to take down some blighted properties, the village is looking to sell the vacant land at a $500,000 loss.

The village has agreed to work with Avalon Realty Associates, based in Rolling Meadows, to market the property at 106, 116 and 124 E. Main St., which is near Route 14 and Second Street. Avalon is set to list the property for 12 months. If the property is sold, the village will have to pay a 6 percent commission rate, which would be split between Avalon and the broker representing a buyer.

In 2006, the village bought the buildings at those locations. After demolition of the three buildings, which included a two-flat apartment building, a rental home and a business, the village’s investment is between $700,000 and $750,000, said Chris Stilling, director of Community and Economic Development.

The property is being listed for about $255,000. Trustee Dave Chapman at a recent board meeting voted against selling the property. "We're talking about a half-million dollar discrepancy from what the purchase price was to what the sales price [is]," Chapman said. "On that note, I'll call malarkey when I [see] malarkey … that's a half-million dollars, what's the urgency in selling this property?" Chapman added the village should wait until property values go up. Trustee Bruce Kaplan said the board members that made the decision to buy the properties made a mistake. "We can utilize the equity in those properties to do something else," Kaplan said. "Whereas I don't like the idea of telling our taxpayers that we lost a half-million dollars of their money, I think we have to recognize our mistake, chalk it up to that, and get rid of this property, get out of the business of owning real estate and move on." Village Administrator Chris Clark said there was some intrinsic value to have the blighted properties gone.

Listing and ultimately selling the properties now may lead to something being built. “It’s a bitter pill, but I think it’s the right thing to do, get this sold and get some development put on there,” said Trustee Jeff Kraus.