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updated: 11/20/2012 11:07 PM

Smaller Mill Creek expansion gets OK from county committee

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  • There is a plan by Shodeen to turn what was intended to be 210,000 square feet of commercial property into 268 apartments on this land in Mill Creek in Geneva.

       There is a plan by Shodeen to turn what was intended to be 210,000 square feet of commercial property into 268 apartments on this land in Mill Creek in Geneva.
    Rick West | Staff Photographer, 2012


A plan to grow Mill Creek by 268 apartments and 15,000 square feet of commercial space won the approval of a Kane County committee Tuesday morning, but a new stipulation in the plan will probably keep any construction from beginning for at least two years.

The size of the new development is a win for existing Mill Creek residents who objected to an earlier plan to build 390 apartments on what Shodeen Construction once envisioned as 210,000 square feet of commercial and office space. And if Kane County Board members have their way, there will eventually be a pedestrian/bike path connecting Mill Creek to the nearby train station.

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"It's been a very positive process," said county board member Drew Frasz, who engineered meetings between Shodeen and Mill Creek residents that resulted in changes to the plan. "It's very low density per unit, per acre. It has a very high ration of green space to the buildings. I think we're ready to go."

The reduction to 268 units was a new twist to David Patzelt, the president of Shodeen Construction. He came to Tuesday's meeting hoping for approval of 290 apartments. But Patzelt said cutting 22 more units out of the plan shouldn't be a problem.

"It's the final hour, and I'm here at the altar," Patzelt said of his bargaining position. "I would agree to that. We've been trying to be cooperative with the residents. They were our customers."

Patzelt was also put on the spot to agree to another stipulation that will put a hold on the plan for the near future. Frasz proposed delaying any construction of the new apartments until there is an 80 percent build out of the available residential space in downtown Mill Creek. The thinking there is that is doesn't make sense to add more residential space when unfilled residential space already exists. Patzelt also agreed to that stipulation. Frasz estimated it will be two to four years before that level of build out in downtown Mill Creek is reached.

The full county board must still vote on the plan.

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