Vacant land along Algonquin Road in Schaumburg -- suspected three years ago of being the site of an American Indian mound -- might soon become a rare, post-recession residential development containing 192 apartment units.
But before the merits of Chicago-based UrbanStreet Group LLC's proposal could be considered, the site's potential historical significance had to be investigated.
"We did review it," said Chris Wills, spokesman for the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency. "It turned out not to be any sort of Indian mound but a mound of construction debris, and the project there is cleared to go forward."
For reasons that remain unclear, a researcher for the Chicago Historical Society named Albert Scharf came across the topographical feature during a survey of Palatine Township in 1919 and classified it as an Indian mound.
In 2011, Rolling Meadows resident Tom Hahn read Scharf's records at the Palatine Public Library while researching the area's first cemetery for European settlers.
Though local officials were surprised by Hahn's finding, the 6.5-acre site at 680 E. Algonquin Road had somehow remained undeveloped amid some office buildings and was itself being marketed for commercial development.
But with the mystery apparently solved, Schaumburg began planning for residential development on the site instead and was contacted by UrbanStreet Group earlier this year to rezone the land.
"It seems so convenient and close to the amenities we have in that area," Schaumburg Community Planner Marisa Warneke said.
The only other residential development in Schaumburg to get off the ground since the recession is the owner-occupied Pleasant Square project at the northwest corner of Schaumburg and Roselle roads. But the new proposal is unique for being rental apartments.
The units will be divided among six buildings. The project includes 159 garage spaces.
But Schaumburg zoning board members Wednesday asked the developer to make room for 50 more parking spaces before the proposal comes back to them Dec. 10.