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Town of Normal braces for lawsuit over Uptown One

Thu, 28 Feb 2013 14:07:15 CST
By: Charlie Schlenker

Town of Normal braces for lawsuit over Uptown One The Town of Normal is anticipating a $6.5 million lawsuit by One Main Developers over the hole in the ground that is Uptown One. After the Town Council approved a new development agreement with Uptown Circle Development in December, One Main demanded reimbursement for project expenses. Mayor Chris Koos calls the request audacious since One Main defaulted on its agreement and is responsible for years of delays in the project. City Manager Mark Peterson says the Town bore additional expense and lost substantial income from One Main's inability to get financing for the project.

"If anyone was injured it was the taxpayers of Normal and not One Main Development. Any injury that occurred to them was self inflicted and it would be completely inappropriate for that to be rewarded by tax dollars."

Peterson says the town is now considering its own claim against One Main. Peterson and Koos decline to speculate whether the threatened suit is an attempt to delay the project enough to encourage a settlement. Peterson says there is little appetite to settle now. He says One Main has sent the new developer a letter suggesting they stay off the site to preserve evidence. The Town responded by allowing One Main on site to take pictures, but Peterson says there is no purpose in delaying the project in a dispute over past expenses. He says One Main has raised delay as a tactic. Because of the legal maneuvering, Council members will consider an agreement with Uptown Circle Development to prevent that group from being damaged by the dispute. The indemnification agreement would have the town assume up to $1.5 million liability for potential loss by the new developer. Peterson says that amount and other stipulations were reached after negotiation with Uptown Circle Development. The agreement goes to the Council Monday evening. One Main has not returned a phone call seeking comment on the issue.

Hear a complete interview with City Manager Mark Peterson.


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