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posted: 10/7/2019 5:30 AM

Developer withdraws plan for Prosek’s Greenhouse site near Winfield

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  • Erik Spande

    Erik Spande

 
 

A popular greenhouse near Winfield will remain open for the foreseeable future after a developer withdrew plans to redevelop the site.

GSP Development was expected to construct a three-story medical office building on the Prosek's Greenhouse property at 28W140 High Lake Road.

But in an email dated Sept. 27, the company notified the village it was formally withdrawing its petition for annexation "and related development approvals" for the project.

Village President Erik Spande says the withdrawal came after the village was unable to finalize an annexation agreement with GSP because the developer couldn't commit to keeping the medical office building on the tax rolls.

"The village was looking for some sort of understanding or agreement that it will stay on the tax rolls for a period of time," Spande said.

Winfield officials want tax-generating businesses, especially since the village's biggest landowner -- Northwestern Medicine Central DuPage Hospital -- is tax-exempt.

The proposed medical office building was expected to generate "hundreds of thousands of dollars a year" in property taxes, according to Spande.

"This was going to be a net benefit for our schools, for the municipality, for our fire district, for everyone," Spande said.

But he said that benefit would disappear if the completed building was sold to another not-for-profit hospital like CDH.

Spande said the village has been approached by other hospital groups interested in building near CDH. The Prosek's site is just down the road from the hospital's campus.

So while GSP's project received favorable support from the plan commission, the village wanted the tax provision added to the annexation agreement.

Spande said discussions went back and forth and "it looks like we were not able to come to terms."

However, he said, it's possible GSP could resubmit its plans "at some point in the future."

In the meantime, Prosek's already has announced plans to open for the spring season in 2020.

On Friday, a woman who answered the phone at Prosek's said the plan is for the greenhouse to operate the same as normal.

"As far as I know, we're going to be here until we retire some day," said Cathy, who declined to give her last name.

Spande said Prosek's is "an institution" in Winfield and he's pleased to hear that it will be open next year.

"Frankly, from my point of view, that's awesome because I love what they do," Spande said. "They're much-loved as a homegrown business."