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Hubble Deal Should Close by Aug. 1, Developer Says

Bradford Real Estate developers hope to close on the old Hubble school property by the end of the month to begin work on the new Mariano's Fresh Market.

Developers planning to build a hope to close on the old Hubble school property and begin demolition work by the end of the month.

Chad Jones, CFO of Bradford Real Estate, said Bradford is still waiting on its demolition and site permit from the city.

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Bradford , at the corner of Naperville and Roosevelt roads, from Community Unit School District 200 last summer for $5,000,200. The Wheaton Park District partnered with the developer, and will buy a portion of the property to maintain its gym and outdoor recreation space.

"The city staff engineers have been working hard to help us finalize the engineering plans in a timely manner, and we appreciate their effort and cooperation in this process," Jones wrote in an email.

The park district last week finalized its purchase and sale agreement with Bradford, and should close on its portion of the property when Bradford closes with District 200, said Mike Benard, executive director of the Wheaton Park District. The district will open bids for the HVAC, electrical and other work planned for the Hubble gyms on Aug. 8, and approve final bids Aug. 15.

The interior demo work on the school side of Hubble would begin almost immediately after the property closes, Benard said. The district will not begin major work until spring of 2013, after the busy indoor sports season.

"It's a very complicated site to develop, but our team of engineers and the city's engineers are close to finalizing the plans," Jones wrote.

Need background? Here's what's happening:

Bradford Equities, LLC is buying the old Hubble school site from Community Unit School District 200 and plans to redevelop the site to bring a Mariano's Fresh Market to the corner of Roosevelt and Naperville Roads. of $5,000,200 in June.

The Wheaton Park District is also in on the deal, with plans to buy part of the school building from Bradford (for about $3 million), to hang on to the three gyms it uses for athletics year-round. Bradford will also donate a parcel of open space for athletic fields to the park district. The two will also swap Bradford's open space at the corner of Main Street and Roosevelt Road for the park district's Central Park property.

Wheaton City Council approved the development plans March 20, after Bradford and the park district presented plans for the site to City Council Feb. 13 and Feb. 27.

More background:

The old Hubble school closed in 2009, when District 200 moved students to the new Hubble Middle School building in Warrenville (take a look at the complete Hubble timeline, courtesy of the District 200 website). The park district became the main user of the site, accommodating more than 90,000 user hours per year. From 2007-2010, the city formed the Hubble Steering Committee, which considered possible uses for the site. In February 2011, District 200 put the school on the market for $10 million to sell in a sealed bid process.

When the district received no bids by the bid opening date April 14, the price was reduced to $5 million. The Wheaton Park District made an offer of $2 million on the property in May, with a letter of intent with Bradford to bring Mariano's to the site. But the offer that worked was Bradford's, which had the same letter of intent, just a different buyer and higher price.

Who's who? Here are some of the main players:

Bradford Equities is the developer and buyer of the site. CFO Chad Jones has been a spokesman for the project since June. Steve Pagnotta is the president and founder of Bradford and William Shank is the architect.

The Wheaton Park District is Bradford's partner in the deal. Mike Benard is the executive director of the park district. Commissioner Phil Luetkehans has led a subcommittee to iron out details of the deal. Ray Morrill is the president of commissioners. Other commissioners: Steve Fieweger, John Kelly, Terry Mee, Mark Schobel and Kim VanderSchaaf.

Roundy's is the parent company of Mariano's. Dan Farrell, vice president of real estate for Mariano's, presented council with background on the company and some details pertaining to the store operations.

Community Unit School District 200 is the seller of the property. Brian Harris is the District 200 superintendent. Bill Farley is the assistant superintendent of business operations. Rosemary Swanson is the president of the District 200 Board of Education.

V3 Infrastructures is the engineering firm working on the project. Derrick Martin spoke to residents in January about plans for the site. John Brown addressed engineering issues.

Kenig, Lindgren, O'Hara and Aboona, Inc. (KLOA) is the firm that performed a Traffic Impact Study for the site. Luay Aboona will address traffic issues.

Drew Ranieri, of Solomon Cordwell Buenz, addressed design elements of the building.

City of Wheaton officials involved in the deal include City Manager Don Rose, Jim Kozik, director of economic development and Paul Redman, director of engineering. City Council includes Wheaton Mayor Mike Gresk and council members Jeanne Ives, Tom Mouhelis, Evelyn Pacino-Sanguinetti, John Rutledge, Todd Scalzo and Phil Suess.

Want more? Below is a list of recent Patch coverage related to Hubble:

Gregg Slapak July 27, 2012 at 09:48 PM
Let's get "PROGRESS" underway!
Tom Ryan August 07, 2012 at 09:48 PM
Would love to find out if Bradford was able to close on the Hubble property. Can't wait for the market to appear.

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