Despite concerns, Arlington Heights approves medical building expansion
The Arlington Heights village board authorized a proposed expansion to a medical building along Rand Road on Monday amid concerns from neighboring residents.
Trustees' unanimous approval of the planned two-story, 32,000-square-foot expansion at 1051 W. Rand Road came on a second vote Monday night that followed their initial rejection of the proposal.
The expansion will double the size of an existing 32,000-square-foot building that is home to Women Care, LabCore, Saunders Pediatrics and medical offices for doctors affiliated with Northwest Community Hospital. The project also includes additional parking spaces, bringing the site's total to more than 300, said petitioner and building owner John Brust.
The building, which today is at 94 percent capacity, will operate with 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. hours, though Brust expects fewer hours on weekends. A 24-hour care component is not planned.
There are no signed agreements for tenants of the new building, but Brust said Northwest Community Hospital Imaging Center and Integrated Orthopedics are both in talks to occupy up to 19,000 square feet of the new space.
Brust said that Northwest Community Hospital did at one point have a facility in the building, but moved out because they needed more space.
Residents living near the 4.26-acre site voiced concerns Monday over security, property values, aesthetics and the loss of green space and trees as a sound barrier.
"This project will change the character of our residential neighborhoods," said Jerry Tietz, who was among several residents to address village leaders about the expansion.
Neighbors from five surrounding homes also submitted a letter to the village with their concerns and hopes for conditions to be included if the proposal was approved.
"You are next to someone's backyard, hopefully you can appreciate that," Village President Arlene Mulder told the petitioners. "We call it being good neighbors, if you could be a better neighbor maybe you would be a little more accepted."
The petitioners noted, however, they've already made concessions, including reducing the number of parking spaces and increasing buffer space between the building and other properties.
The first vote on the proposal ended in a tie, which under village code meant it technically failed.
Then Village Manager Bill Dixon spoke up for the petitioners.
"I think you'll regret this decision," Dixon said. "I know this is tough for the board, but the petition has done all that can be done for the residents."
After further discussion the board approved a motion to reconsider and the petitioners promised to work with residents on several of their concerns. The plan was then unanimously approved.
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