The Main Street Triangle court proceedings face another delay as the presiding judge was moved to a different department and off of the case.
Judge Sanjay Tailor was reassigned in January to the commercial division of Cook County Circuit Court. With the change, he no longer presides over the lengthy case to decide who will pay what and to whom for the Orland Plaza shopping center. Tailor was scheduled Tuesday to rule on motions relating to the plaza’s assessed value.
Judge Alexander P. White was calling Tailor’s cases on Tuesday. However, White said he was only holding Tailor’s cases until a replacement judge is selected to fully take over for Tailor.
“We’re in the middle of a discovery schedule that’s already been set,” said Rachel Robert, attorney for Orland Park. “We’re actively proceeding with the case, even though a judge hasn’t been assigned, as it relates to discovery on expert opinions and other discovery set in place by Judge Tailor. The only thing we’re in a holding pattern on are some rulings. That’s what we need the judge for.”
Courtroom staff said a judge is expected to be put in Tailor's place next week, though an exact date was uncertain.
Attorneys Stephen Viz and Mike Ryan, both representing tenants in the Orland Plaza, also attended the hearing. Cass Wennlund, who is representing plaza owner George Gee, was not in court.
The Main Street Triangle is Orland Park's effort to create a walkable outdoor center around the 143rd Street Metra station, with stores, offices, restaurants and living spaces on land between the Southwest Metra track, LaGrange Road and 143rd Street. The last remaining buildings still on that land are within the Orland Plaza, where 27 tenants rent space for their businesses. The project dates back to 2004, but has been mired in disputes since the village began pursuing the .
Orland Park has been in litigation with the Orland Plaza property owner, as well as tenants who rent throughout the property, over how much money the owner and tenants are entitled to after the village won an eminent domain lawsuit last year for the land.
The village now only wants to buy a portion of the plaza for $2.9 million to extend Ravinia and Jefferson avenues, and to create a street that connects the two, while previously an offer of $8.7 million was made.
The case is scheduled to be back in court on April 14.