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Tanna Farms in Foreclosure? An Anti-MIll Creek Apartment Argument that Might've Worked!

The Tanna Farms Golf Club financial woes might have been a reason to argue against apartments in Mill Creek, after all.

The folks I’ve spoken with told me the handwriting was on the wall, but it still comes as somewhat of a surprise that the is headed into foreclosure. If you didn’t already know, the golf course in question sits in the southwest corner of the unincorporated Mill Creek subdivision made semi-infamous by a couple of my columns here.

The legal papers were filed July 6 and, in another surprising twist, Shodeen Management is prominently named as a defendant. This interesting development makes one wonder whether his company or Kent Shodeen himself made some sort of personal guarantee on the project.

The next court date is Sept. 28.

But what really amazes me about this story is, while all those Mill Creekians we’re ranting, raving, shrieking and howling about the prospect of lowly renters encroaching upon their sacred (and virtually all-white) domain, they actually had a solid argument to fend off those now 290 apartments that will be coming into the northwest corner of their subdivision.

Think about it!

What if, instead of whining about “a higher crime rate,” not wanting “those people” walking their streets, and saying rental units “aren’t in line with the neighborhood,” Mill Creekians fought that development based on Shodeen Management’s deteriorating track record?

Granted, a source put me onto this story, but the truth is, it took all of five seconds to come up with the details on the Court Clerk’s website. Simply enter “Tanna Farms” in the name field, click the search button and voila! You can review the entire case history.

In addition to that tidbit, another source told me the GreenFields, that Mill Creek retirement living facility you can see from Keslinger Road, isn’t doing too well, either. If the source is correct, the assisted living section is virtually vacant and the other side isn’t selling that well either

But this one isn’t a shock. Who thought setting a bunch of old folks, who probably shouldn’t be driving, out in the middle of nowhere was a good idea? By contrast The Crossings at Geneva is directly adjacent to Delnor Community Hospital and the Geneva Commons.

And the GreenFields situation isn’t likely to improve any time soon.

Now that the originally intended 210,000 square feet of Mill Creek retail space is slated for apartments, for the same reasons those homeowners balked at rental units, the GreenFields is going to have a hard time attracting new buyers.

The whole point was supposed to be those retired folks could walk right on over to those impending stores. Apartments don’t hold quite the same sway.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not guaranteeing a win here, but had those irate Mill Creekians taken this tack, they would’ve had a much better shot at coming out on top. These are exactly the kind of contentions the County Board pays attention to because they’ve been forced to clean up far too many developer messes these days.

Sadly, as a culture, we’re too busy shrieking about “those people,” gossiping about ulterior motives, coming up with conspiracy theories, and discussing who’s in whose pocket because it’s much more fun and it doesn’t require all that much work.

For the record, I did leave a detailed message with Mr. Shodeen’s assistant to get his side of the story, but that effort failed to bear fruit.

Though I’m convinced it’s just another case of spittin’ in the wind, I’m gonna throw caution into the wind say it one more time. There’s a really important lesson for anyone who wants to fight City Hall here.

Instead of wasting your time terrifying your neighbors with baseless fears, do your research! C’mon! All it takes is a few keystrokes to get your hands on all sorts of legal/governmental documents in the digital era.

Instead of engaging in the kind of conspiracy theories that makes your County Board member think you’re a nutcase, assemble the facts. Village and county boards are inundated with shriekers, so they simply tune them out.

And by the way, don’t threaten to vote them out of office and/or accuse them they’re in someone’s pocket—even if it’s true. You need a meeting of the minds to prevail, and personal attacks make that virtually impossible.

So, Mill Creekers! You actually had a worthy argument against those apartments and you blew it!

Koshka September 14, 2012 at 05:19 PM
it may be tough to accept and preferable to ignore but race is part of the story.
Matt September 14, 2012 at 06:05 PM
Jeff 1) At the meeting Drew said it was his district and whatever he voted the rest of the board would go along with. 2) at the first meeting there were 3 members of the county board, at the second only Drew came. How do you vote without hearing concerns unless Drew is correct that he will decide how the board vites? 3) Drew was predisposed to give Shodeen apartments. Infact once Shodeen came down to 290 new apartments (for 490 new apartments) Drew had his made up his mind and was in full support. The residents have met and asked for time to come up with a number they deemed fair. Drew rejected this. 4) Drew did however get the forest preserve to buy the land around his house because of his concern about overgrowth.
Jeff Ward September 14, 2012 at 07:33 PM
Matt, You are exactly the kind of person I was writing about. These kind of silly statements and conspiracies have completely whatever credibility you might've had with the county board. 1. I spoke with drew again and he said nothing of the sort. Do boards members tend to follow the advice of the district rep? Sure! But I've attended enough county board meetings to know it's nowhere near a sure thing. 2. This one absolutely floors me. Those were public meetings that Shodeen Management participated in out the goodness of their heart. There was no obligation to host them, nor was there any obligation on the part of any county board members to attend them. But they do attend county board meetings. Can you say, "entitlement mentality." 3. When there was no immediate Mill Creek outcry, yes, Drew voted for the apartments. But when the Chronicle got wind of it, it was Drew that encouraged Shodeen to hold the public forums. Had their been a reasonable argument against them - as I've repeatedly suggested - he would've listened to it. 4. Those Forest Preserve acquisitions had been in the works for 20 fricken' years! That's 16 years before Drew Frasz was a board member! And people accuse me of not doing my homework! Jeff
Matt September 14, 2012 at 09:10 PM
Jeff 1) Again if you were at the meeting Drew clearly said the board will follow his lead. Ask anyone who was at the meeting 2) Shodeen misrepresented their intent on the land. Their sales staff never mentioned the change to any prespective buyer. When residents found out they objected. Shodeen represented that the land would be townhomes and commercial space even after they submitted the proposed change. 3) There was no outcry because Shodeen was misrepresenting the lands use. the residents were well aware of the 200+ apartments already slated not the additional 390. 4) If those had been in the works for 20 years as you state how were they slated to be a development Grand Praire/The settlements of LaFox up until the mid 2000's? No conspiracy here anyone who has been in these parts knows that when Drew ran for election he went after Jan Carlson for not helping residents fight the Gran Prarie plan. I hope you know that 2008 wasnt 20 years ago.
Matt September 14, 2012 at 09:14 PM
Jeff take a drive in Tanna Farms It is rather interesting that Shodeen has started several spec homes. Do you think he is telling those buyers about the change in plans? He certainly wasnt earlier this year.

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