The former AMF bowling alley at 3245 Kirchoff Road in downtown Rolling Meadows would be razed and 54 townhouses built in its place, under a plan that got favorable reaction from the city council this week.
Lexington Homes proposes building homes starting in the low $300,000s, Bill Rotolo, Lexington vice president, told the council Tuesday.
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The development requires changing both current zoning and the city's comprehensive plan, which call for commercial property on the 3.7 acres.
The company was looking for feedback from the council before investing more money in the plan, especially since earlier this year the council rejected a traffic plan Wal-Mart proposed for a small grocery store it planned on the site.
The bowling alley is between Library Road, which Mayor Tom Rooney said is not designed for commercial or truck traffic, and what would have been an awkward exit to share the traffic signal at the BMO Harris Bank to the east.
"If Kirchoff Road can handle a bowling alley, it can certainly handle traffic like this (the townhouses)," said Rooney, adding people living in the homes will generate sales for area businesses.
Aldermen who spoke Tuesday agreed with Alderman John D'Astice of the 6th Ward, who said, "It's not a home run, but it's a triple."
Parking could be an issue, Rotolo said, and a few aldermen agreed. Each home will have a two-car garage but no driveway, and the company plans half as many guest spaces as units.
The company sells an average of six homes a month at its Morton Grove development and two or more each month in Palatine, Rotolo said. He expects Rolling Meadows' sales rate to be in the middle of these two.
"This is what people want," he said. "They want to be in a walkable downtown. They are sick of driving to get a newspaper. It's a trend across the country."
Rotolo said most buyers are professional couples and some singles. The homes don't have yards and do have stairs, so neither families with children nor retirees tend to be interested, he said.
The 23 two-bedroom homes would have 1,600 square feet and the 32 with three bedrooms will be 1,750 square feet. They will be 2.5 stories on the front and 3 stories on the rear.
Other housing communities along Kirchoff are also multifamily, Rotolo pointed out.
The bowling alley closed July 3, 2012.