The city of St. Charles is seeking a judge’s permission to demolish the vacant, heavily damaged Pheasant Run Resort.
It filed the request in DuPage County court Tuesday.
On Thursday, Judge Bonnie Wheaton appointed a city-suggested receiver, giving him permission to install security fencing, order an environmental conditions report and obtain bids for demolition.
The receiver estimates it may cost about $2 million, said Andrew Acker, the city’s attorney.
“I think everybody is sad to see this institution is going the way of the dodo,” Wheaton said at the end of the hearing.
The owners, St. Charles Resort LLC and St. Charles Resort Holding LLC, agree with demolishing the resort, attorney Patrick Griffin said.
The landowners would pay for the demolition — likely by the city placing a lien on the property, to be satisfied when the property is sold.
Griffin said Thursday the owners have a contracted buyer.
In its petition, the city said since the resort closed in February 2020, police have responded 349 times to the property for trespassing, vandalism and other offenses, including two sexual assaults. The fire department has been there seven times, including fighting the May 2022 arson fire that damaged part of the 13-story tower, The Barn (where the theater and Zanies Comedy Club were), a restaurant and several smaller buildings.
A structural engineer’s report the city submitted with its petition said Nicor turned off gas service to the resort because of leaks in the fall of 2020.
Because the building was then unheated, water pipes froze and burst, including those in the fire-sprinkler system. Because that system was broken, the St. Charles Fire Department ordered the property have a person on-site at all times as a fire watch. The owners did not do that, according to the city’s petition.
After that, the basement flooded, and the electrical service to the tower failed, meaning the building didn’t have any security alarms.
There is a chain-link fence around the buildings. The receiver intends to put a fence around the whole property.
Earlier in September, a city adjudicator found the property was in violation of several building codes, and allowed the city to begin assessing fines as high as $6,000 a day until they were fixed.