Though more Clarendon Hills residents who spoke during Monday night's Village Board meeting were against the new three-story condo building at 103 S. Prospect Ave. than were for it, the eight-unit building had the support of the attendees that counted most—five of six trustees and Village President Tom Karaba.
Trustees voted 5-1 to approve a special-use permit and comprehensive plan amendment that clear the way for construction of the residential-only development in the central business district.
Karaba's vote was not needed as a tiebreaker, but he nevertheless spoke in support of the building and, when audience members said it didn't fit with the rest of downtown Clarendon Hills, Karaba replied by saying that's something he likes about it.
“If we do not change, we will die,” Karaba said. “[The condo building] is not the end; it’s only the beginning. That is my vision for this town and it has been my vision for a long time. We need smart changes and I think this is the beginning of those smart changes.”
Resident Andy Schmidt addressed Karaba's words when he spoke against the building soon after.
“Your vision, your individual vision, is to totally turn this village around,” Schmidt said. “That’s your vision; that’s great. It’s not the [vision of] the people of the village.”READ: Trustee on Clarendon Hills Condo Building: 'We Should Expect More'
In addition to Karaba and a group of trustees, there were a small number of meeting attendees who spoke in support of the development.
George Kinsella called it "a great project" and didn't like the idea of tabling final votes, as was proposed by trustee Ed Reid and supported by trustee Eric Stach.
“If we don’t move forward, we’re going backwards,” Kinsella said.
A big issue for many of those against the development is its lack of retail space on the first floor. Landowner Mike Van Zandt has said retail space in the development is not feasible because new-construction rent rates would be too high for small-business tenants and banks would not finance a mixed-use project in that spot.
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