Another new apartment complex planned for Glen Ellyn, this one near library

Glen Ellyn village planners are starting a formal review of a proposed four-story apartment complex near the public library.

More than a year after unveiling the project at a pre-application meeting with village officials, Chicago-based REVA Development Partners has officially submitted plans for Avere on Duane, a 48-unit apartment building on a site bounded by the south side of Duane Street, Prospect Avenue to the east and Melrose Avenue to the west.

"Glen Ellyn is just an outstanding community," said Matthew Nix, a REVA principal. "But what we found in similar affluent communities with great downtowns is a lot of folks, empty nesters, are interested in downsizing but staying in the community, so the building that we're building is really targeting those folks."

Nix said the project would be marketed to empty nesters who want the flexibility of rental units and the proximity to the library, train station, Prairie Path and other downtown amenities. Nix called Avere a "boutique building" with "condo-quality" finishes and underground parking.

"We're really responding to this shifting trend that we're finding that the aging baby boomers are really looking to downsize but everyone's not flocking to downtown Chicago," Nix said. "They like the well-established communities with nice downtowns like Glen Ellyn. That sort of segment really hasn't been served other than condo developments 10 years ago."

Another major apartment complex is moving closer to reality amid pushback from opponents who say the five-story building is too tall for a key gateway into downtown. But the Avere project would redevelop a full block of Duane Street on the outskirts of the central business district.

Developers plan to seek tax increment financing dollars - where property taxes above a certain level are funneled into redevelopment of an area rather than to local governments ­- to help fill a funding gap. The project represents a roughly $18 million to $20 million investment, according to initial estimates.

Village Manager Mark Franz said no agreement has been finalized, but a conceptual proposal calls for reimbursing developers through a "performance-based" incentive in the range of $1.5 million to $2.5 million that would be paid out over time with no upfront costs.

Last summer, developers had initial discussions with the board about a TIF incentive.

"REVA has indicated that a gap exists in part because this is a smaller redevelopment project consisting of only 48 units," a board memo at the time stated. "In addition, this project has been more challenging due to the costs of assembling the property, capital costs associated with the infrastructure improvements, including parking and stormwater issues, and an increasingly higher tax assessment process that has led to higher than anticipated projected taxes."

A total of six individual properties on Duane and Melrose are now under contract. The parcels on Duane contain a pottery studio, service businesses and other commercial buildings, while the parcels on Melrose contain a single-family home.

In the current iteration of the project, one of the most significant zoning deviations pertains to height. At its tallest point, the building would stand about 68 feet tall, Village Planner John Sterrett said. That's about 8 feet taller than the maximum height of 60 feet allowed in village code for the applicable zoning district.

As for parking, the complex would have 48 underground spaces and 34 surface spaces for a total of 82 - or 10 fewer than the number of stalls developers would be required to provide under village code, Sterrett said.

Planners are now in the early stages of a review process that could take months. The project would likely not proceed to the plan commission until summer. The village board would get the final say.

Elsewhere in the suburbs, REVA developed The Oaks of Vernon Hills, a luxury apartment complex spread across 30 acres in the Lake County town.

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