Des Plaines OKs 113 apartments for Sim's site

Des Plaines aldermen gave final approval Monday to a plan for 113 downtown apartments on the site of the former Sim's Bowl.

Earlier proposals to develop the property at 1555-1565 Ellinwood Ave. were dead on arrival with city officials because of too little parking.

But the city's sale of an unused parcel next to the former Sim's property to the developer means there's more room for parking, and that gave aldermen enough reason to vote to approve the project on a 7-0 vote.

Under a plan submitted to the city this summer, Rosemont-based Opus Development Co. originally sought a parking variation since the project would have had an on-site parking ratio of 1.69 spaces to apartment units, which is under the city requirement of 2.

With the 13,800-square-foot city property being sold to Opus, the project now proposes 2.05 spaces per unit. A total of 190 spots would be in a garage on the first two floors of the 7-story building, and 42 spaces would be outside.

"What is most important about this sliver is it allows this development to be built in excess of our two minimum parking spots, without any issue," Mayor Matt Bogusz said. "This is a useless wedge."

The $190,000 sale of city property to Opus was approved on a separate first reading vote of the council Monday, with a closing scheduled to take place before next July.

More than half the units in the building are proposed to be studios or one-bedroom apartments, and a third would have two bedrooms. A nearly 2,000-square-foot retail space would be on the first floor.

After 55 years in business, the iconic Sim's Bowl closed in 2009 and was torn down two years later.

The 43,900-square-foot site includes a commercial building and vacant lot.

Sean Spellman of Opus said construction is expected to begin sometime next summer and could be complete 18 months later.

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

Des Plaines apartment building plan moving along

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