It appears that Lyons Township High School will be selling the approximately 70-acre piece of land that it has owned in Willow Springs for more than 50 years. On Jan 12 Business Manager Brian Stachacz opened two bids for the property, one of them meeting the minimum requirement.
The high bidder was Bridge Industrial Inc., a company that specializes in developing industrial property, which bid $55 million, the minimum amount that the school board said it would accept for the property.
Despite the $55 million minimum price, ProLogis Inc., a real estate investment trust that specializes in developing distribution centers and warehouses, bid $46.5 million.
The LTHS school board could vote on moving forward with the sale as early as its Jan. 23 meeting. The school district’s lawyers are currently conducting a legal review of the Bridge Industrial bid.
Executives from Bridge Industrial did not return calls from the Landmark seeking comment about what it plans to do with the property. It appears that Bridge Industrial will need zoning variances from the village of Willow Springs to develop the property for industrial use, because the land is currently zoned for retail, single-family housing and senior housing.
The land located southwest of the intersection of 79th Street and Willow Springs Road was purchased by LTHS in two chunks, in 1955 and 1962, with the thought that it could someday be the location of an additional high school if that was ever needed.
However, it turned out that enrollment never grew to a point where a third high school campus was needed. An enrollment study conducted last year concluded that the district would not need a new high school in the foreseeable future.
After getting interest from a potential buyer last year, LTHS officials decided to put the land up for sale. They intend to use the $55 million proceeds from the sale to upgrade their two current campuses by adding more air conditioning, modernizing existing classrooms, creating more collaborative spaces for students and faculty, improving athletic and wellness spaces and making needed life-safety improvements.