Affordable apartments for seniors proposed for Mundelein

Developers want to build an affordable apartment complex for senior citizens in downtown Mundelein, but the concept got a mixed reception Monday night from the village board.

The plan, floated by a Cleveland company called PIRHL, focuses on the 400 block of North Chicago Avenue, between Hawley and Park streets.

The four-story building would feature up to 48 one-bedroom apartments and up to 28 two-bedroom apartments, village documents indicate.

Residents would have to be at least 55 years old, PIRHL representative David Burg told the village board Monday night. The developer would use housing tax credits to cap rents lower than those at other suburban apartment buildings, he said.

Additionally, the building would have about 3,000 square feet of first-floor retail space on Hawley Street.

Burg believes the project can bring a lot of activity to that part of Mundelein, which has been a focus of redevelopment and improvement plans for decades.

"What we're trying to do here is help create the downtown," Burg said.

The land now is split into three, individually owned parcels. One is vacant, two contain houses.

Those houses would be demolished to make way for the apartment building.

The board took no action on the plan Monday, but trustees did ask questions and share opinions.

Trustee Holly Kim strongly supported the plan, saying demand for more affordable senior housing exists in town.

Mayor Steve Lentz suggested the developer seek a different location, saying he'd prefer to see an apartment building with pricier rents at that site.

Trustees Bill Rekus and Ray Semple said they like the project concept but would prefer it in a different location.

"I think you're close to something here, but I'm not ready to dive in so quick," Semple said.

Trustee Dawn Abernathy said she likes the mix of residential and retail uses but would prefer it at a different location in the downtown area. Still, she's open to the plan.

The nearly 1.5-acre site has been eyed for residential redevelopment before.

A proposed townhouse development called Park Station was approved for the site in 2006, but it never came to fruition. For this deal to happen, the original Park Station plan would need to be amended, officials said.

If the new plan progresses, construction could start in early 2018 and conclude by early 2019, Burg said.

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