Darien plaza costs city another $75,000

Artist rendering of the new clock tower. | Submitted
Artist rendering of the new clock tower. | Submitted

Additional action needed to correct subsoil problems at the Darien Pointe Plaza retail center will cost Darien up to $75,000 more than aldermen approved two weeks ago.

The City Council voted 5-1 Monday to increase the purchase price credit from a maximum of $125,000 to a new maximum of $200,000, but only after securing an assurance from Director of Municipal Services Dan Gombac that no more hidden costs for unrelated issues at the site lurk in the city’s future. In explaining the higher cost figure to aldermen, Gombac faulted Wayne C. Marth, the project architect and a vice president at Shive-Hattery, Inc.

“Wayne Marth of Shive-Hattery did not do his due diligence,” Gombac said.

The latest costs to Darien for corrective measures are $75,000 for the north retail building, $75,000 for the south building, $12,000 for the parking lot, and a contingency fund of $38,000, for a total not to exceed $200,000.

Darien sold the 1.7-acre parcel at the northeast corner of Cass Avenue and Plainfield Road to a private developer for $1.2 million earlier this year, but the transaction has yet to close. When the closing does take place sometime in the next month or so, the city has now agreed to credit the buyer, Darien Pointe, LLC, up to $200,000 for “extraordinary costs relating to substandard soil conditions” at the site. The city is splitting the additional foundation costs with the developer.

This latest twist in a project which has been discussed and anticipated by city officials for well more than a decade. It was greeted coldly by aldermen, particularly those who opposed plans to spend $163,000 for a triangular, 30-foot clock tower at the site. The first architectural rendering of the tower was displayed Monday. It depicts a heavily landscaped triangle measuring 18 feet on each side. Inside the triangle will be a structural steel tower topped with three backlit clocks, each measuring 6 feet across.

The project will also provide a fountain as well as benches, a courtyard featuring brick pavers, areas of colorful plants and shrubs, and a possible misting station for children. The clocks could be equipped with electronic chimes as one of several optional elements of the installation.

While noting that “this ship has sailed,” 6th Ward Alderman Sylvia McIvor heavily criticized the clock tower plan once again.

“It’s just a corner,” she said. “We are wasting money here. This is a retail space, not a park, and the people hanging out there will most likely be the retail workers taking a smoke break or whatever.”

Third Ward Alderman Joseph Kenny, who voted against the clock tower July 7 and also voted against the $125,000 subsoil purchase price credit July 21, continued that trend by casting the lone vote against the $200,000 credit approved 6-1 Monday night.

“We are playing ping-pong with this,” he said.

Tags:

0 Comments

Do you have the scariest house on the block? Or the cutest kid in costume? Share your Halloween photos with us! Click here to submit them.


Modal