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A good-sized chunk of the Hummel property sold. It went for about five point four million dollars $5,400,000). A four-hundred-acre area that sits back east of South Lake Shore Drive, running north and south from Willow road all the way to just across from the Geneva Inn. Who bought the property and what are they going to do with it? A farmer named Polyock claims to have signed a five-year lease to farm it, which should come as a real nice shock to all the people who live on the east side of South Lake Shore Drive between the road and the new farmland. The spring should bring truly earthy smells and aromas to their outdoor barbecue socials.

But who bought the land? That’s secret. The Lake Geneva Regional News, last week, tracked the company (Walworth Partners LLC) down to an address on Wacker Street in downtown Chicago. The address of the LLC is supposedly congruent with the address of the Pritzker operation of Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker. But the Pritzker people are using a CIA tactic about the ownership. Tom Munster, Pritzker’s son-in-law, who handles a lot of the company business, will neither admit, nor deny, J.B.’s participation. Meanwhile, there are rumors about a gathering of billionaires being the other partners in the company. The other rumor is that there will be no development of the property. Other than farming, apparently, the area will be a reserve. For corn, or alfalfa, maybe.

The Geneva Shore Report does not believe any of that. Any organization that will not speak, will not reveal and even hides the names of its participants is not, in the GSR’s long-experienced opinion, up to community service or beneficent gestures. Almost invariably, if the public is prevented from knowing, then it is because the public would not approve if it knew. So, the quest for these Walworth Partners LLC owners will go on until they are found out, and then they will be mercilessly grilled for what they intend to do with the vitally important and centrally located area. The public living in and around the city deserve to know, and they are going to know, or there’s going to be hell to pay.

Is this new purchase of a grand chunk of the Mirabel Hummel land all about the new state interpretation of the conditional use permits small towns and villages are required to issue to developers under certain conditions? The timing is awfully coincidental. The timing reminds anyone looking at it of the other situation going on over on Highway 50 dealing with the Dunkin Donuts property. That operation has stalled and waited for this new ‘open season’ conditional use permit interpretation to be applied.

Now that open season has arrived, is Lake Geneva going to see a spate of these ‘anything goes’ kinds of approval requests for development? What is the citizenry to make of all this secrecy and the back-behind-the-curtain kind of behavior by some of its supposedly most distinguished lakeside citizens? What kind of trust is built by allowing rumor to rule the land when it comes to the ownership of that land and the intent of those owners of that land to build something…or even nothing at all? Until it is physically proven otherwise, this Geneva Shore Report is going to assume that the people involved in this sale of such a large chunk of Lake Geneva are maintaining secrecy for a nefarious reason.

This ‘small’ plot of land near the southern outskirts of the city comprises almost ten percent of the city’s entire land area. Lake Geneva covers 6.55 square miles, or a little more than 4,000 acres. The citizens, owners, renters, visitors and particularly the leaders of Lake Geneva better be taking a vital interest in who has purchased this land and what the purchaser’s intent might be.

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