Study will say whether parking sufficient for Riverside Plaza
Algonquin's planning and zoning commission has postponed making a decision on a plan to convert Riverside Plaza into apartments in order to settle questions about parking, officials said.
Earlier this week, John Breugelmans, principal of Riverside Plaza LCC of North Barrington, presented to the commission his plan to change the partially-built development at Routes 31 and 62 from a 54-unit condominium project to a 69-unit apartment complex. Retail would be located on the first floor. The original plan was approved in 2006; Breugelmans bought the building last year after the original builder defaulted on his loans.
Breugelmans told the commission he is in discussions with the owner of Port Edward Restaurant next door to lease a paved area where employees now park, and which he says can hold about 40 parking spaces, Community Development Director Russ Farnum said. "He needs to go through and through and measure it to do a formal parking layout, so we'll figure out how many parking spaces there are," Farnum said.
Village staffers also want to make sure that some of the building's 102 parking spots below ground are reserved for retail customers, Farnum said. "The question becomes, if you change from 54 units to 69 units, is the parking that's provided still enough to serve the building as originally intended?" he said.
Breugelmans did not respond to a request for comment.
Commission member Richard Hoferle said having enough parking was deemed crucial by the commission. "We wanted to make sure we have a good number whichever it is regarding the parking situation," he said.
Commission members hope that if apartments are eventually approved, the building will revert to condos once the housing market improves, Hoferle said. Village staffers presented an alternate proposal that calls for 60 apartment units, none of them so small that they would be difficult to sell, Farnum said.
Breugelmans' plan to turn the project into apartments was not well received by Algonquin trustees at a committee of the whole meeting in May. He says he can't get the $8.5 million in financing he needs to finish the condo project, but would be able to get financing for an apartment complex.
Five out of seven members of the village board said they would allow rental units, but four of them objected to Breugelmans's plan to increase the number of units.
The next meeting of the planning and zoning commission is scheduled for Monday, Aug. 13. The village board would have to approve any final plans.
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