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LIBERTYVILLE, IL-The salad days for a 160-acre farm on the northwest edge of this central Lake County suburb are about to come to an end. Instead of sweet corn, onions, tomatoes, broccoli and cauliflower, the former Titus farm at Peterson and Harris roads is likely to see residential and commercial development beginning next year.

The process begins July 29, when Sheldon Good & Company Auctions LLC opens sealed bids for one of the largest undeveloped tracts remaining in the county. It also could involve an annexation tug-of-war, as both Libertyville and neighboring Grayslake would not mind expanding their tax bases.

Lawrenz Titus paid $100 per acre for most of the property in 1877. Now, residential land in the area retails in the neighborhood of $400,000 per acre.

Rather than freight, two rail lines offer Metra commuter service to Downtown Chicago, a draw for residential developers. Chairman and chief executive officer Steven L. Good foresees retail development, especially if the extension of Route 53 north from Lake-Cook Road to Route 120 eventually happens, and if Midlothian Road is extended from Peterson Road to Harris Road.

“These projects will add significantly to the daily traffic count and raise the potential uses of the property even further, making this an outstanding opportunity for development,” Good says. “Possibilities include commercial/retail, light-industrial or residential.”

Although the county department of transportation’s plan to extend Midlothian Road would provide retail possibilities, the state’s plan to extend Route 53 have been on the drawing board for decades. When it does happen, though, a full interchange at Peterson Road at the southwest corner of the Titus property is in the plans.

“A full interchange at Peterson Road is likely to drive future development–possibly retail and/or service–along this thoroughfare,” Good says.

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