South Barrington Park District again auctions land, but identity of winning bidder isn’t clear



Thirty-four acres of undeveloped South Barrington Park District land has once again sold at auction, but the identity of the winning bidder isn’t clear.


A representative of a group called Area N Development LLC offered $2.3 million for the property at Bartlett Road and Route 59 during a live, in-person auction held Wednesday at park district headquarters. But no limited liability company with that name is registered with the Illinois Secretary of State’s office.

After winning the auction, the representative didn’t provide contact information for the company he represented or its owners, said Lee Filas, a spokesman for the park district.

A company called Area N Development is registered in Delaware. According to public Deleware Division of Corporations data, it formed Feb. 20 and is based in Wilmington, Delaware. Its registered agent is a Las Vegas company called InCorp Services that helps others incorporate.The park district board unanimously approved the sale to Area N Development at its scheduled meeting Wednesday night, Filas said. A closing date wasn’t immediately publicized.

The park district pulled out of a deal last year to sell the property — a former tree nursery that’s sometimes called “Area N” by the district and local residents — after concerns arose about the religious group that was the only bidder in a May 2023 auction.

Park district voters in April 2023 directed parks leaders to auction off the land. Parks officials have said the money generated by a sale would pay for improving local parks.

The winner of last year’s auction was a Schaumburg-based religious group called Fourth Avenue Gospel Building Inc., which offered about $1.7 million for the property. Fourth Avenue representatives said they wanted to build a house of worship and a school on the land.Fourth Avenue is owned and operated by a suburban congregation of a relatively small group called the Plymouth Brethren Christian Church.

Dozens of area residents protested the deal once the potential buyer was publicly identified last summer. In interviews and public comments, opponents listed the proposed use of the land and some of the Plymouth Brethren's practices among their concerns.

Ultimately, the park district board voted to terminate the sale and hold a new auction as allowed by the terms of the 2023 referendum.

The representative for Area N Development was one of two active bidders Wednesday, although a total of five potential bidders attended the auction, Filas said. The second bidder didn’t identify himself or who he represented, Filas said.

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