SYCAMORE – Another step was taken this week to help pave the way for a Chicago developer’s plan to buy and rehabilitate Suburban Estates and Suburban Apartments just outside DeKalb city limits.
The DeKalb County Board unanimously voted Wednesday to approve a resolution for an intergovernmental agreement with the city of DeKalb and Clear Investment Group LLC to purchase the rental community, which officials said has fallen into disrepair over the years. Under new ownership, the complex could thrive and be safer and of higher quality for its tenants, government officials have said.
Under the agreement, the properties, sitting on North Annie Glidden Road and Twombly Road will be annexed from DeKalb County into the city of DeKalb, and connected to the city’s water main system for more efficient utilities.
“This is a win-win, win-win,” said Tim Bagby, a Republican representing District 3 during Wednesday’s board meeting.
“Both the county and city frequently receive phone calls with concerns related to property maintenance within individual units and the common areas,” Gregory wrote. “Broken windows, broken pipes, water quality and pressure, heating and cooling issues, insects, and mold have all been among the issues raised by the tenants over the past five years.”
Gregory wrote that the county doesn’t have many options when it comes to how it can address the concerns raised by residents.
“Without being a home-rule county, DeKalb County is limited to adopting only the codes afforded by the State of Illinois,” Gregory wrote. “The very fact that the Suburban development remains in unincorporated DeKalb County is problematic to address concerns raised by tenants, their family members and other concerned residents.”
As part of the agreement, the county will use money received through the American Rescue Plan Act to connect the annexed property to the city of DeKalb’s water system.
“Given that property being annexed to the City would need to be connected to the City’s water supply, the County will pledge American Rescue Plan Act Funds in an amount not to exceed $862,500 toward the installation and connection of watermain to the property,” Gregory wrote.
For two years from the time of annexation, or three years from the developer’s closing, the DeKalb county Sheriff’s Office will retain jurisdiction over the property. In the meantime, the city of DeKalb Police Department will continue to provide assistance. After that timeline the city of DeKalb will assume policing jurisdiction and the county will then provide assistance when needed.
“This agreement is an example of what government can do when they work together with a focus on what is best for the greater community,” Gregory wrote.
During the Committee of the Whole meeting Aug. 10, County Board Chairman John Frieders said it took a lot of people working together on the intergovernmental agreement to get it ready for a vote.
“It’s very important for the residents at that facility and it’s something that’s been a long time coming,” Frieders, a Republican from District 12, said. “And I’m very happy that we’re this far in this process.”
Democratic board member Rukisha Crawford, who represents District 6, issued her gratitude for area governments working cooperatively toward the property’s progress.
“Comment is, thank you, thank you, thank you,” Crawford said during the Committee of the Whole. “Thank you for guiding this process.”
Crawford also asked if county staff had a background on the company buying the property. As a result, Lindsay Rodriguez from Clear Investment Group LLC was at the Aug. 17 board meeting.
“We certainly look forward to working with you,” said Suzanne Willis, vice chairman of the board.
Willis, a Democrat from District 10, ran Wednesday’s meeting in Frieders’ absence. Rodriquez said the feeling is mutual and reaffirmed the company’s plans to help to facility.
“You guys won’t hear from us. I promise,” Rodriguez said.