Friends of Robinson Lake press Hobart to buy St. Sava land

2012-11-28T20:00:00Z 2013-11-04T18:36:16Z Friends of Robinson Lake press Hobart to buy St. Sava landDeborah Laverty deborah.laverty@nwi.com, (219) 762-1397, ext. 2223 nwitimes.com

HOBART | Friends of Robinson Lake will continue to push city officials to buy the former St. Sava property, spokeswoman Sandy O'Brien said.

O'Brien, who recently pitched the idea to the Park Board, said the 40-acre former St. Sava property should be preserved because of its woods and wetlands and its link between the north and south portion of the Hobart Marsh.

The purchase proposal by Friends of Robinson Lake, a nonprofit group, may be a moot point because there has been recent interest shown by a potential buyer, Realtor Aaron McDermott said.

"We have interest, but nothing signed. It could lead to something," McDermott said.

McDermott, who serves as president of Latitude Commercial Realty Inc., said his company received the property listing six months ago.

The property, which is still being actively marketed, is listed at $20,000 per acre.

The former St. Sava property, 4101 W. 49th Ave., was put up for sale two years ago by current property owners, Bear Country Park, spokesman Larry Brown said.

Brown said developers gave up on plans to develop it and Robinson Lake after they lost the backing of city officials.

The plan included renovating the 21,000-square-foot St. Sava Hall and using it as a full-service restaurant, banquet hall and smoke-free bingo center.

Brown also had talked about buying or leasing Robinson Lake Park, adjacent to the church property, as an area for campers, picnic shelters, public bathrooms and laundry facilities.

O'Brien and other members of the Friends of Robinson Lake earlier this year sent letters to the City Council and Board of Public Works urging the city to apply for a coastal grant that could help pay for the former St. Sava parcel.

O'Brien encouraged members to attend the Dec. 6 Plan Commission meeting to provide positive input for the Hobart Marsh Plan.

It's important that the Hobart Marsh Plan be approved because it provides a 1,000-acre natural area on the city's west side, O'Brien said.

"We'd like people to go to support the Hobart Marsh," O'Brien said.

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