A developer who wants to build a three-story
residential building in downtown Clarendon Hills received a needed thumbs-up
from the Clarendon Hills Village Board.
Trustees Monday night approved by 5-1 votes both a special-use permit and a comprehensive plan amendment that clear the way for the eight-unit condo development to be built at 103 S. Prospect Ave., a currently vacant property at the northeast corner of Prospect and Park Avenue.
Trustees Paul Flood, Don Knoll, Paul Pedersen, Ed Reid and Steve Wallace voted for approval of the items. Eric Stach voted against approval.
Before the final votes were cast, Reid made a motion to table board action related to the development in order to further discuss and modify the plan to transition better to and “fit more contextually” in the residential area to the south, but it was voted down by a 4-2 vote, with only Stach and Reid supporting the motion.
Village President Tom Karaba said he believed design changes made to the development since it was first brought to the village in January had addressed Reid’s concerns.
“I thought the design was very clever … in terms of its transition plan and its ability to visually soften the wall because you do have different levels, you’ve got different materials, you’ve got different colors, you’ve got different rooflines, you’ve got different windows,” Karaba said.
After the failure of his motion, Reid said his hope to improve the building aesthetically was not reason enough to vote against the entire project, so he sided with the majority of the board.
Stach, however, did not.
He had amended Reid’s motion so that it also required a study of how feasible it would to, as part of the project, change current parallel parking spaces on Prospect or Park to diagonal spaces in order to make up for the expected loss of three spaces. He also suggested that the building should be set back at its tallest elevations, one of which being the north side along Park, an additional distance equal to the width of a sidewalk without moving the rear end of the building any further south.
Prompted by a question from Karaba, Stach said, “I’m recommending a smaller building.”
Check back with Patch later for more from Stach.
The building will contain eight residential units that landowner Mike Van Zandt hopes will sell for between $500,000 and $700,000. Van Zandt has said he’s aiming to attract Clarendon Hills seniors who want to downsize from a house to a high-end condo.
Despite the building’s location on a well-trafficked downtown intersection, right across the street from Starbucks, there will be no retail space on the first floor. Van Zandt said retail space in the development is not feasible because new-construction rent rates would be too high for small-business tenants, and national retailers that could afford the rates are not interested in locating in downtown Clarendon Hills.
He also said banks would not be interested in financing his project if it contained first-floor retailers.
Along with Flood, Knoll and Wallace, Pedersen commended the plan and the process that it went through.
"I’m a supporter of this project in a big way," Pedersen said. "I think it’ll do a lot of good for downtown, I think it is a transitional building from residential to
business by its nature."
Van Zandt has agreed to fund a new water main along Prospect that would supply retailers north of the development and make donations to the park and school districts for the population increase his development would be responsible for.
The developer said during Monday's meeting he's open to listening to aesthetic recommendations Reid might suggest, but that he would not consider Stach's recommendations that he make changes to nearby parking spaces or downsize the building.
There are plenty of ways to keep up on Hinsdale-Clarendon Hills news: