APPELLATE COURT OF ILLINOIS, THIRD DISTRICT
523 N.E.2d 375, 168 Ill. App. 3d 1083, 119 Ill. Dec. 767 1988.IL.647
Appeal from the Circuit Court of Peoria County; the Hon. Thomas G. Ebel, Judge, presiding.
JUSTICE HEIPLE delivered the opinion of the court. BARRY and WOMBACHER, JJ., concur.
DECISION OF THE COURT DELIVERED BY THE HONORABLE JUDGE HEIPLE
Robert Najman and William Greengoss (the Sellers) entered into a written real estate option agreement with the County of Peoria (the County) on October 23, 1981. The agreement granted the County, for the price of $25,000, the exclusive option to purchase the leasehold interest of the Sellers in certain hotel property. The County hoped that it might be able to convert the Sellers' hotel property into a county jail. To accommodate that hope, a public referendum on the proposition was scheduled to be held on November 3, 1981. The option was granted upon certain terms and conditions; the relevant terms and conditions for purposes of this case are as follows:
"1. This option shall expire at midnight on December 21, 1981.
2. This option may be exercised at any time prior to its expiration date. It shall be exercised in writing by mailing same by registered mail, return receipt requested, or by personal delivery to Sellers or to either of them as provided herein. Mailing of said notice on the expiration date shall meet the requirements of time of notice as required hereunder.
4. The Option Price paid hereunder shall be paid or returned by the parties as follows:
(a) If the referendum for a new Peoria County Jail to be held by the County on November 3, 1981 shall fail, the County shall decide by December 1, 1981 as to whether or not it shall proceed with this purchase pursuant to the terms of this Agreement and shall notify Sellers of that decision as provided herein by that date.
(1) If the decision of the County is to not proceed with the purchase, then Twelve Thousand Five Hundred Dollars ($12,500.00) of the option fee shall be immediately returned by Sellers to the County and the balance of Twelve Thousand Five Hundred Dollars ($12,500.00) of the option fee shall be retained by Sellers free and clear of all claims of the County.
(2) If the decision of the County is to proceed with the purchase, then all of the terms of this Agreement shall remain in full force and effect, and that notification shall be deemed an exercise of this option.
22. Any notice required to be given hereunder shall be given in writing and be delivered to ...