City Council to vote on agreement with Hunter Properties

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Northern Star File Photo

A boarded-up window stands at 808 Ridge Drive apartments in 2019.

Kierra Frazier, News Editor

DeKALB – After a series of unresolved code violations, the City of DeKalb and Hunter Properties have reached a tentative agreement which will include a change of ownership of four complexes owned by Hunter Properties.

In the agreement, Hunter Properties is to sell Hunter Ridgebrook, 808-832 Ridge Drive and 832 Edgebrook Drive, Hunter Tri-Frat, 930-934 Greenbrier Road and 1024 W. Hillcrest Drive, Lincoln Tower, 1100 W. Lincoln Highway, and Hunter Hillcrest, 1011-1027 Hillcrest Drive, within 3 ½ years. 

Marcus & Millichap and Triad Real Estate Partners are currently listed to sell the properties, according to the agreement.

DeKalb City Attorney Matthew Rose said there’s no current buyer for the properties. The agreement obligates Hunter Properties to provide certain services that should improve the quality of living conditions to people that live there, he added.

Hunter Properties will continue to own Hunter Star Properties, 801 Lucinda Ave., which is where most NIU students live, Rose said.  

The agreement also states Hunter Properties must make various repairs and security measures recommended by the city. There have been complaints of broken smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, bed bug infestations, security failures and more.

In the agreement, Hunter Properties must install security cameras for all properties in the city and repair broken windows, doors, water heaters, fire alarms and more.  

“The end result of these conferences is a draft agreement which may help break the recurring cycle of code violations at Hunter Properties, the Hunter resistance to code compliance, and the costly litigation of outstanding Hunter code violations,” the agreement reads. 

Hunter Properties owns around 900 residential units in DeKalb and purchased their first property from the city in 2014, according to an April 26 City Council agenda. Since 2017, the city has issued over 500 ordinance violations to Hunter Properties, totaling approximately $111,475 in fines.

The settlement would not impact any future code enforcement actions, according to the agreement. 

The agreement will require City Council approval at Monday night’s meeting. Council members will meet at 6 p.m. Monday at the DeKalb Public Library in the Yusunas Room, 309 Oak St., or via Zoom

If the agreement is approved, it will take effect May 1. 

Gary Ashman, attorney for Hunter Properties, did not respond to a request to comment.