Spot Check: They Pulled the Plug. Will One Winnetka Really Become the Property Formerly Known As?

No 3rd party guarantor.

No Plat of Subdivision.

No maintenance or paid utility fees.

No explanation.

And finally, no show. No lenders. No equity investors. No Conney’s Pharmacy rep. Just an 11th hour text – yes, text – to the Village President and investors – that the Conney’s deal had been inked.

No Choice. No Mas.

With no time to verify, and not inclined to trust, on Tuesday, July 16th, after three missed deadlines and then some, an out-of-options Village Council motioned, seconded, unanimously agreed to instruct the Village Attorney to “prepare a resolution nullifying the Development Agreement and other documents.”

On August 6th, the Trustees are expected to sign the resolution, making One Winnetka no more.

(Psst: "Conney's deal???" The developer agreed to buy the Conney's Pharmacy property at 736 Elm as a key part of the Development Agreement. No Conney's, no Development Agreement. No Development Agreement, no One Winnetka.)

No Smiles. No High-Fives.

Twelve minutes of Attorney review and 17 minutes of public comment (most in favor of pulling the plug). The President called it. “Close it down," “stand down and give the developer another chance,” or something in between? Discuss.

  • Wedner: With no shame and no fear of a reboot with another developer, found "no reason to delay the inevitable when a developer “with ample time” fails “to lock in financing.” PS, kudos to the Village Attorney for “a beautiful agreement that protected the Village.”

  • Swierk: The no-shows-no-contact made his decision “pretty easy.” Let's “get the ball rolling” with the resolution, but leave the door ajar should the developer “get his act together” enough to “warrant another shot.”

  • Coladarci: Is there a way to address the Conney’s property as a “chance to do one thing good?” Was cautioned by the Village President that the council “would be ill-advised to interject itself into a private business deal.

  • Lanphier: The “most disappointing element” was the “lack of communication of any progress.” Lacked “confidence that this project will be fulfilled.” Advised the Council to “move ahead and make something happen for everybody.”

  • Dearborn: Described the "mess on our hands" as "suburban blight in Winnetka [that] is unimaginable for most of us in this room." Concluded "as stewards of this Village, we need to get on a different path.”

  • Rintz: With equal parts anger, frustration, and disappointment, assured the room that the Village Council had “made every effort…without compromising the community…to make sure [the developer] had an opportunity to bring this thing forth.” Tried “our hardest to make this a success for everybody in this town.”

“That’s the Way You Do It”

Just an hour before, in a contrast lost on no one, Willow Trace, a 6-unit, 4-story, two-parcel proposal at 688 and 694 Green Bay Road, nailed the first step in the newly-revised, hopefully more streamlined and transparentPlanned Development Ordinance approval process: The Concept Review. The “55,000-foot view” that gives developers a chance to pass the “what’s Winnetka” sniff test.

The Village Council thinks this one does. Easily.

Next stop, the newly-formed Planned Development Commission – the right-brain/left-brain group-think of Plan and Zoning Board of Appeals Commissioners – to decide if this new project sits well with the Village’sComprehensive Plan and Zoning Ordinances.

Or has darn good why-nots. We’ll keep you posted.

Handicapping. Next Tuesday. A $98,000,000 Hail Mary?

Curiously, while it was radio silence to the VC, One Winnetka was full-court press to the media. Promising all the ducks. Lined up. With bows. By the August 6th Village Council meeting.

What’s up with this is anybody’s guess.

If One Winnetka makes good with a signed contract with Conney’s Pharmacy,


Conney’s files title, obtains the Certificate of Occupancy, nails the Department of Public Health’s approval to dispense medication, closes and moves in,


One Winnetka files a plat of survey with Cook County signed off by the Village President, takes care of those 14 maintenance violations, and locks in that 3rd party guarantor,

...the Village Council “would have to discuss.”

TBD. Be there, Tuesday, August 6th, 7:00 PM Village Hall.

Up for a little background?