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posted: 3/1/2018 5:33 AM

Arlington Heights panel favors apartments on downtown parcel

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  • Plans for a 5-story, 80-unit apartment building on Sigwalt Street between Highland and Chestnut avenues got a positive recommendation by the Arlington Heights plan commission Wednesday.

    Plans for a 5-story, 80-unit apartment building on Sigwalt Street between Highland and Chestnut avenues got a positive recommendation by the Arlington Heights plan commission Wednesday.
    Courtesy of Village of Arlington Heights

 
 

An Arlington Heights panel Wednesday favored revised plans to build apartments on a portion of a long-vacant block in the downtown.

The village plan commission voted 7-2 to recommend approval of plans for a 5-story, 80-unit apartment building on Sigwalt Street between Highland and Chestnut avenues. The commission's recommendation includes rezoning the property from single-family residential to multifamily residential and granting 11 variations. The village board, which has final say, could vote as soon as Monday, March 5.

An earlier version of the proposal was rejected 8-1 by village trustees last October, prompting developer CA Ventures to go back to the drawing board. That led to the revised plans presented to the plan commission Wednesday that drop the number of units to 80 from 88, increase the number of parking spaces to 120 from 110, reduce the building height to 60 feet from 62.5 feet, and have the top floor recede to help soften the building mass when viewed from the street.

"It's a great improvement on what we saw previously," said John Sigalos, one of the commissioners.

But a number of neighbors have continued to object to the plans, saying the development as proposed is too big and too dense, still requires a number of variations, could lead to additional traffic, and might hurt the property values of single-family homes directly to the south and west.

Keith Allen, a homeowner on Chestnut, said the development isn't harmonious or compatible with the 100-year-old homes nearby.

"This is exactly the type of development the code should be protecting us from," he said.

The $17.5 million, 41,987-square-foot development, to be called Sigwalt Apartments, would take up about a third of the vacant block.

A proposal to develop the rest of the block could be unveiled in the next two to three months, said Mike Firsel, an attorney who represents developers of both portions of the block.

The 2015 village comprehensive plan designates the Sigwalt parcel as "high density residential," while the 2007 downtown master plan calls for a 4- to 6-story building there.

"This seems like a good transition between a residential building and a 90-foot-tall building that could be on the lot next to it," Commissioner Joseph Lorenzini said. "This lot's been empty for 15 years. Something's gotta happen here."

If approved, work on the apartment building would start this year and be targeted for completion in early 2019.

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