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Despite Lawsuit, Developers to Proceed at Courthouse Square

Developers to proceed with project to build senior housing at Courthouse Square in downtown Wheaton, with plans to begin construction end of first quarter or beginning second quarter 2013.

Developers plan to proceed in the project to build a senior housing center in downtown Wheaton, despite a lawsuit alleging the firm violated the condominium act and misrepresented the project to residents.

Wheaton council members voted 4-3 Monday in favor of Focus Development's requests to amend the Courthouse Redevelopment Project Area Plan and Program and allow construction of a senior housing development instead of a previously approved condo building.

Tim Anderson, president and CEO of Focus Development said he could not comment on the lawsuit, but that Focus plans to go through with "the normal development process... And taking (it) to the next step."

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Anderson said Focus will work on the design of the development and begin work to secure financing.

Courthouse Land Development this year requested approval of a special use permit to build a six-story, 167-unit senior housing development at Courthouse Square, where developers originally planned to finish a condo development. The project, approved in 2004, remains incomplete as a result of the housing market crash in 2008.

Filed by eight existing Courthouse Square residents, the lawsuit asks for declaratory and other relief, and alleges the developer misrepresented the development and violated the condominium act, Wheaton City Attorney Jim Knippen told City Council members at an Oct. 1 meeting.

Henry Stillwell, attorney for Focus Development said he couldn't comment on the lawsuit, and that the developers will need to figure it out.

Wheaton City Manager Don Rose said as far as the city is concerned, Focus Development can begin the project immediately.

Focus hopes to begin construction end of first quarter or beginning second quarter next year, Anderson said.

Anderson said he was pleased with the final result of the city's decision process. He said he truly believes the development will be an "excellent" addition to downtown Wheaton.

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