As the by property owner Art Dyer failed in mediation earlier this month, officials had little to say about the specifics of the negotiations involving the former Parkland Mall site.
"The specifics of mediation are not to be discussed by anyone at the direction of the mediator so as not to harm the mediation process. The city will continue to honor that," Mayor Kathy Chiaverotti said.
However, Dyer had plenty to say after Chiaverotti's statement during her last week indicated that Dyer had "backed out of negotiations."
Dyer claims that the city conspired to prevent him from developing the land, in effect taking the property from him.
He sent a recap of his issues with the city in an email to the mayor, aldermen and media, reiterating his complaint with the city for what he saw as misconduct over the years. He also took issue that the city chose to use a different appraiser to come up with a value on the Parkland property.
"The city has already addressed the allegations and is awaiting rulings on various motions seeking dismissal of the lawsuit," Chiaverotti responded. "The city is not going to comment outside the pending litigation about Art's personal views."
Dyer also indicated what his company, Parkland Venture LLC, was seeking going into mediation, and what the city had countered that brought to an end the day-long mediation.
"Parkland offered to sell the property to the city for $15.9 million plus legal costs and attorney fees including release of all Parkland claims," Dyer wrote. "The city countered to purchase the land and settle all claims in the entire law suit for $2 million. Parkland rejected that offer out of hand asking the City for its final and best offer. The city made a final and best offer of $2.4 million dollars."
Dyer also made a comparison to the value of his property to the recent
"When demolition of houses for the two lake properties is taken into consideration, the purchase price offered for Parkland is about half what the city is paying to purchase two homes with about two-thirds less land area, which unlike Parkland do not already have zoning for 140 condominiums," he wrote.
Dyer pointed to aldermen Neil Borgman, Dan Soltysiak and Kert Harenda, who had "endorsed the city going forward with review of my proposal as they believe it has merit, as does (Community Development Authority) Chairman (Rob) Glazier."
Although he said that the mayor's statement that he had backed out of negotiations was "absolutely not accurate," Dyer explained that the city's "best and final offer of $2.4 million dollars" was rejected, and the mediation is over — at least for now.
Although the mediator returned asking Parkland to make another offer, he said "Parkland responded it would wait until after the election and possible upcoming recalls to reply."
The city has agreed to consider mediation again after the April 3 election, in which three aldermanic seats are up for grabs.