Former planned development site on Rt. 38 in Elburn sold

By on April 9, 2010

Buyer has no plans yet for former Kirk Homes property
by Martha Quetsch
ELBURN—A trustee handling the Kirk Homes liquidation recently sold a 150-acre parcel on the village’s northwest side that would have been the site of a residential and commercial development if the company had not gone bankrupt. The site’s new owner, Joseph Valente, has no plans yet for the property.

“At this point, with the economy, it’s just up in the air,” said Valente’s attorney, Marvin Glick. “For the time being, it will remain farm land.”

Valente is not a builder or developer, but a private investor, Glick said.

The trustee handling the Kirk Homes Chapter liquidation, Richard Fogel, sold the property last month to Valente, he said.

The village several years ago approved Kirk Homes’ concept plan for the 950-unit residential and commercial project at the site, on Route 38 west of Route 47. But the Streamwood, Ill.,-based company put the project on hold after filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization in May 2009.

At that time, former Kirk Homes Chief Executive Officer John Carroll said that it could take a few months or longer before the company pursued the next step in the project, depending upon when the housing market improved. However, last fall, a U.S. Bankruptcy Court ordered a Chapter 7 liquidation of all of Kirk Homes’ assets.

Elburn officials had been holding $30,000 in escrow funds that Kirk Homes previously submitted for the development. The village returned the funds this month as required under the company’s Chapter 7 liquidation.

“We had a court order to return their escrow,” Village Administrator Erin Willrett said.