Des Plaines apartment building plan moving along

Des Plaines aldermen Monday night seemed favorable to plans for a 7-story, 113-unit downtown apartment building on the former Sim's Bowl site - as long as it has enough parking.

The city council's 8-0 first reading vote came only after aldermen said they wouldn't give final approval unless the developer acquires a city-owned parcel - next to the proposed apartment building at 1555-1565 Ellinwood Ave. - that would be used for parking.

Opus Development's previous proposal would have required a parking variation from the city council since the project would have had an on-site parking ratio of 1.69 spaces to apartment units - under the city requirement of 2.

Opus' revised proposal now calls for 2.05 spaces per unit, should the city sell the small strip of land. A total of 190 spots would be in a garage on the first two floors of the building, and 42 spaces would be outside.

City Manager Mike Bartholomew said the city is now getting an appraisal for the land and completing title work. Once the city is prepared to offer the land to the developer for a price, a sales agreement would come back to the council for approval and a final second reading vote on the project could be taken, he said.

Alderman Patti Haugeberg, whose 1st Ward includes the site of the proposed apartments, said she won't agree to the deal unless the 2-space-per-unit ratio is part of it.

"It's a train wreck downtown as far as parking," she said.

More than half of the units in the proposed building would be studios or one-bedroom apartments, and a third would have two bedrooms. A retail space would be included on the first floor.

The 43,900-square-foot site includes a commercial building and vacant lot where Sim's Bowl was torn down in 2011 after falling into disrepair.

Lack of parking could doom plan for Sim's Bowl site

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