Officials not sure if people are living in abandoned structure

By Dave Fidlin


Are people living in an abandoned motel property on a high-profile piece of land? Is power still running to the facility?

Members of the Yorkville Village Board grappled with these and other questions recently as the status of an abandoned property, 14017 Durand Ave., was discussed. The site, near Foxconn, is located at Highway 11 and Interstate 94 and most recently was host to the Home Run Heaven motel and campground.

“I think that there are people still living in there, and they don’t belong there,” Terrence O’Brien, code enforcement officer, told the Village Board on Dec. 26 as he provided an update on the property.

O’Brien said his belief was underscored by the sight of vehicles parked outside the motel, which San Diego-based Lansing Companies purchased in April as a likely spot for redevelopment as Foxconn’s presence spurs new growth in the area.

However, O’Brien also said he was unsure if the vehicles were abandoned and simply left at the motel property.

During his report to the board, O’Brien said he had a litany of concerns about people living in the motel. At the time of the meeting, he said it was uncertain if electricity and other utilities were servicing the property.

“We’ve got to find out what the story is there,” O’Brien said. “That property is in no condition for anyone to be living in it.”

O’Brien said he has knocked on doors at the motel site, though no one has answered during each of his visits.

An attempt to reach a representative at the Lansing Companies for comment on the status of the property was unsuccessful.

Elected officials implored O’Brien and other village staffers to stay on the issue and get answers.

“I think we’ve got to be proactive and go to our attorney,” said Trustee Terrence McMahon, referring to Yorkville’s legal representative, Tim Pruitt.

In addition to the defunct motel and campground, Lansing Companies purchased adjacent land at 3400 S. Sylvania Ave., which has been the site of the Home Run Heaven Ball Park. Combined, the two properties encompass nearly 28 acres.