Perhaps it was no surprise at Tuesday’s Oak Lawn Village Board meeting that a vote related to the Stony Creek Promenade led to another extended debate between Trustee Robert Streit and Mayor Sandra Bury.
Streit’s talking points are simple enough.
He repeatedly has said Oak Lawn taxpayers recently were taken advantage of because the village lost $24 million in the sale of Stony Creek Promenade. He further contends that Hamilton Partners, the project developer, garnered $28 million via the sale despite the village’s investment in the property being significantly greater than Hamilton’s.
Bury and other village officials have said Streit’s figures don’t add up and accuse him of lying for political reasons.
Streit faces re-election in the spring, four years after winning a very close election against a write-in candidate. One village official said Tuesday that Streit is extremely concerned about his chances in 2015.
Following Tuesday’s meeting, Bury pointed to a detailed, four-page memo written Village Manager Larry Deetjen that outlines the sale of Stony Creek Promenade Phase I.
The memo debunks Streit’s financial claims about the Stony Creek Promenade sale, Bury said.
The mayor also took to her blog to discredit Streit’s claims, saying the veteran trustee is lying about the deal.
“In what is called a sure sign of desperation about spring re-election prospects, Bob Streit continues to spread lies and misinformation about the most successful retail development in Oak Lawn’s history,” Bury wrote Oct. 13 in her blog.
“Bob Streit’s response to Stony Creek Promenade’s record breaking success is to bad mouth Hamilton Partners, bad mouth the stores investing millions in our village and undermine the process in every way possible with a social media campaign orchestrated with Dave Heilmann to taint this development and hold Oak Lawn’s economic growth back,” the mayor added.
Bury asked Streit why he is opposed to a development project he initially supported.
Streit said he backed plans for an upscale mall “not a mediocre strip mall.”
Bury called the remark “reckless.”
Trustee Michael Carberry told Streit that he is alone in his thinking about the 111th Street project, where a recently opened Mariano’s has been very well received.
“I really don’t know anyone in Oak Lawn who thinks this is a bad deal expect you,” Carberry said to Streit. “I just don’t get it. You’re alone. Who’s with you?”
Other officials noted that the property was previously home to a closed grocery store, a Kmart and a parking lot full of seagulls. Additionally, the area lacked retention and green space.
Tuesday’s 5-1 vote allows Hamilton Partners to develop the Edgar Funeral Home, 10900 S. Cicero Ave., which will be renovated for retail use.