Story in Daily Herald by Eric Peterson

Several companies sent letters of intent by Monday's deadline to bid on the purchase of Friendship Village of Schaumburg as part of Illinois' largest retirement community's bankruptcy protection process, officials said.

That ensures the 46-year-old property's Chapter 11 proceedings are on schedule and as far along as possible.

Mark Zullo, vice president of sales and marketing at Friendship Senior Options, said last month that a new owner should be in place around the end of the year, based on other retirement community bankruptcies.

In the meantime, residents' lives at Friendship Village are continuing normally, spokeswoman Debra Sheridan said.

Current ownership blames the financial setback on the inability to conduct tours for prospective residents for nearly a year during the pandemic.

After Friendship Village filed for bankruptcy protection in June, letters were sent far and wide to companies that might have the ability and interest to buy the community.

While letters identified the property only as a Midwestern retirement community, the signing of nondisclosure agreements by interested parties allows them to learn specifics about Friendship Village as they move on to the next step, Sheridan said.

Management and the community's attorneys could not reveal the exact number or names of the interested companies, she added.

While the general market largely favors renting over buying currently, Zullo said last month that both processes are continuing close to normally at Friendship Village.

The only change to sales for now is that instead of the entrance fee and deposit going directly to Friendship Village, they go to a guaranteed and refundable escrow account until new ownership for the 60-acre community is established, he added.

Friendship Village is the nation's 16th largest continuing care retirement community and can accommodate up to 1,000 residents.

According to its 38-page Chapter 11 filing, the company has between $100 million and $500 million in liabilities, about $10 million to $50 million in assets, and between 200 and 999 creditors. The largest creditor is listed as UMB Bank, which holds an unsecured claim of about $75.4 million, the filing indicates.