I believe that the proposed site for the Catherine Alice Gardens supportive housing development, at 345 Eric Drive, is the right location.
The Palatine Plan Commission voted to approve the development by 7-1 on June 18th. The one dissenting vote came from Commissioner Jane Robins, who echoed a concern held by opponents of the project: that it would be a misuse of valuable industrial property.
I disagree. The warehouse currently on the site has been vacant and on the market for 11 years. The building directly across the street from the site is partially empty and has a "space available" sign in front of it. The next building south on the west side of Eric is a larger industrial building. It is totally vacant and for sale.
Further south, almost to Colfax, there is an industrial building with a sign in front that reads "space available — 6,000 sq. ft." The building on the northeast corner of Colfax and Eric is for sale, as is the large office building half a block west of that on the north side of Colfax.
There are many other industrial properties for sale or for rent in other parts of Palatine. In fact, because there is so much unused industrial property in Palatine, the village council has granted many variances and special use permits to allow industrial space to be used for commercial and office uses. The karate studio adjacent to the Catherine Alice Gardens site is one example.
Our village is not suffering from a shortage of industrial property, but it IS suffering from a shortage of supportive housing for people with disabilities. The amount of good this project will achieve is tremendous, and putting it on a vacant, surplus, industrial lot is a much better use of the property.
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