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updated: 3/5/2014 5:54 AM

Proposed Wheeling senior housing would share garden with synagogue

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A senior residence proposed on Dundee Road across from the Wheeling village hall will feature new concepts in programming, the developer says, including a garden built in cooperation with the synagogue next door.

The LaSalle Group will purchase vacant land from Shir Hadash Synagogue, 200 W. Dundee Road, and build a garden that both synagogue members and residents of the new three-story residence will use, Matthew Krummick, the company's regional director of development, told the village board Monday.

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LaSalle will create what it calls a memory care community for residents with dementia on the first floor and more traditional assisted living units on the second and third, he said.

While the Texas-based company will soon open its 10th Chicago area residence, called Autumn Leaves, for people with dementia, combining the two types of housing in one building is a new concept for LaSalle.

"I love what you are doing in downtown," Krummick told trustees, as one reason the company chose Wheeling to draw residents from the North and Northwest suburbs.

He added that LaSalle will construct a prairie style building to complement the planned Town Center west of village hall.

The project will cost an estimated $25 million, and residents will pay $5,000 to $9,000 per month.

While the village board approved the concept Monday, the company must submit more detailed plans to the Plan Commission, and the board will then have the final say. The company hopes to have all government approvals within six to nine months then close on the property and apply for permits, Krummick said Tuesday.

LaSalle will buy slightly more than five acres of vacant land at 60-156 W. Dundee from the synagogue and the Olshansky family. The 82,000-square-foot building will go on the front of the property, and the garden and parking on the rear.

The area along the creek will work for a garden but would not be buildable, he said.

In fact, the land would not be buildable at all except for the water storage being built at nearby Heritage Park, Krummick said. LaSalle wants a share of the compensatory water storage that will be available at the park and will request tax increment financing funds if the village charges for this.

Trustee Kenneth R. Brady said many businesses have wanted to build on the property, but LaSalle's plan is "very calming and not generating a lot of traffic."

The company and the synagogue will design the garden together with walking paths and a naturalistic theme, Krummick said. The synagogue will retain ownership of the garden space, with the company paying for much of the project and reserving access rights.

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