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Approval of the one developer chosen behind closed doors: Coming to Naperville City Council

We’ve posted about the closed-meeting committee which included four members on the Board or Executive Committee of the Naperville Development Partnership selecting Ryan Companies US, Inc. (“Ryan”) to move forward with on the development of over 13 acres of taxpayer owned land. Coincidentally, Ryan’s local representative, Jim McDonald, is also on the Executive Committee of the Naperville Development Partnership. A previously scheduled open-to-the-public City Council Workshop was cancelled, and an agenda item to approve Ryan was added to the August 15th City Council meeting, which surprised even City Council members. That vote was deferred, and the previously cancelled City Council Workshop was held on August 28th. The Council debated the topic at the September 5th meeting, but deferred the vote until October 3rd, requesting a “scope development” and community engagement plan.


We’ve also posted about the City seemingly putting the cart before the horse on the proposed development. Instead of developing the vision and parameters of a plan, then putting the plan out to competitive bid, the City is apparently pursuing a process in which only one developer, Ryan, is selected to develop a plan. Once the plan is developed, contracts will be signed with Ryan. As envisioned, there will be no competitive process to determine if the City is in fact getting the best set of economic terms on the taxpayer-owned land. It seems an appraisal, rather than a competitive process with more than one developer, will be used to determine the value of the City’s land.


The question we asked in our last post on this topic remains unanswered: How will the City know it is maximizing the return on that taxpayer-owned 13.3 acre asset with only one offer?


The City Council is set to consider the agenda item to “Move forward with the Ryan Companies to facilitate a community engagement process, complete market and technical studies, develop a land use concept and financial plan” this coming Tuesday, October 3rd at 7:00 PM at City Hall. If you have concerns about the potential development or the process, please attend the meeting.


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