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Local News

Joliet council set to vote on Evergreen Terrace partnership

JOLIET – The Joliet City Council is scheduled to vote Tuesday on an agreement that puts in place the operating company that would run Evergreen Terrace.

City Manager Jim Hock expressed confidence that an appellate court likely was to award the low-income housing complex to Joliet. He said the agreement puts in place a corporation to manage Evergreen Terrace once the city gains control.

“We are expecting that the court of appeals will uphold the decision allowing us to condemn the property,” Hock told the City Council at a workshop meeting on Monday.

The agreement makes the city partners with Holsten Real Estate Development Corp. in Chicago in future management and redevelopment of Evergreen Terrace.

Hock said Joliet and Holsten would become “50-50 partners” at Evergreen Terrace, but the city would be “the controlling entity” on major decisions about the complex.

The agreement spells out 20 different “major actions” that cannot be taken by the newly created partnership without consent from the city of Joliet. They include future redevelopment of Evergreen Terrace.

It does not specify how much Holsten will be paid, which Hock said will be determined later. But it does provide that ownership and management costs will be paid with income from the property.

Joliet paid $15 million – the price set by a federal grand jury – in August to take Evergreen Terrace from the private ownership group headed by Ron Gidwitz, a prominent Illinois Republican, and his family. The owners, however, appealed the case, and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, which subsidizes rents at the complex, would not consent to city ownership until after the appeal is decided.

New dog law

The council on Tuesday also is slated to vote on a new ordinance regulating the handling of vicious and dangerous dogs. Also on the agenda is an intergovernmental agreement with Joliet Township Animal Control, the agency that picks up vicious, dangerous and stray dogs in the city.

The ordinance was developed over the course of six months while responding to concerns generated by pit bull attacks, City Attorney Marty Shanahan said.

He said two of the most important elements of the new law is that it gives the city power to take away a dog after an attack that causes serious injury and it provides for restitution for victims of dog attacks.

DriveTime vote

The council also will decide what to do about DriveTime, the national car company that wants to move into the former Century Tile site at 1395 N. Larkin Ave.

The Zoning Board of Appeals voted against a special use permit last month after hearing from community advocates who questioned the company’s lending practices.

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