Local News

Cary to buy Metra station property from Union Pacific

Village would pay a total of $845,300 if purchase goes through after yearlong feasibility review period

The village of Cary is on track to buy the Union Pacific commuter station and surrounding property in its downtown after its Village Board approved an agreement with Metra facilitating the sale earlier this month, Village Administrator Jake Rife said Thursday.

The Nov. 2 approval came after Union Pacific notified Metra in September that it had entered into an agreement with an unnamed developer to sell some or all of its 41 train station properties. In a letter Metra sent to affected municipalities, the Chicago region commuter rail system said these stations would be sold for about $50.9 million in total.

However, Metra said, the developer still could choose not to buy individual stations.

Metra has right of first refusal to buy the train station properties from Union Pacific, but it doesn’t want them, as previously reported by the Northwest Herald. Instead, Metra offered to buy train station properties from Union Pacific on municipalities’ behalf and transfer the property title to the villages and cities.

For Cary, the total purchase price of the property at 100 West Main St. would be $845,300, with the village putting an initial earnest deposit amount of $10,000 down ahead of a feasibility review.

During this yearlong review period, Cary officials could choose not buy the property and would receive a refund of the $10,000.

The feasibility review period comes with three 180-day extensions and closing contingencies for various approval processes and financing, according to Metra’s letter.

Crystal Lake recently made a similar move at its last City Council meeting, approving the purchase of the 1.8-acre downtown train station property for $1,072,500 with an earnest amount of $26,000.

Several other McHenry County communities were also given this opportunity for an intergovernmental agreement, including Woodstock, Fox River Grove, McHenry and Harvard.

Fox River Grove and Harvard have already said they won’t buy the property. Fox River Grove Village Administrator Derek Soderholm said the village doesn’t have the money in its budget to buy the land, which would cost $1.6 million, especially as the village already is maintaining it.

The deadline to enter into this agreement with Metra is Friday.