$26.8 million redevelopment of downtown Mount Prospect shopping center gets OK from board

Mount Prospect village board members voted Tuesday to approve the redevelopment of the Prospect Place shopping center, as well as a package of more than $4 million in financial incentives to support the downtown project.

The redevelopment of the property long associated with Keefer Pharmacy calls for the demolition of the current site, bounded by Prospect Avenue, Wille Street, Evergreen Avenue and Route 83.

First Equity Group plans to replace it with a $26.8 million, five-story building housing 80 apartments and about 10,000 square feet of ground-floor retail and restaurant space.

Community Development Director Bill Cooney said the village will contribute up to $3.7 million from the Prospect and Main Tax Increment Financing District toward the project. The village also will waive permit fees and about $350,000 in impact fees.

"The contribution here by the village is not unusually high," Trustee Paul Hoefert said. "(The developer is) also putting a lot of their own resources, obviously, into this project. Adding that kind of value to our downtown is a real benefit to the village in a big way."

The TIF district diverts property taxes above a certain point away from local governments and into redevelopment.

Trustee Richard Rogers noted the benefit to the village's tax base.

"This is really going to help the homeowners, because this one building is going to take the place of probably a couple of hundred homes as far as tax relief," he said.

To address the shortage of six parking spaces on the site, officials also agreed Tuesday to grant up to six permits for spaces in nearby village-owned lots.

Before the vote, neighbors of the property voiced concerns about the project's impact on their neighborhood.

Among them was Wille Street resident Johanna Huberty, who said surrounding streets are too narrow to accommodate additional traffic and parking the building will generate.

"Adding a significant level of traffic to the narrow surrounding streets is not safe for the residents and the current children living there," she said.

She asked for four-way stop signs at Evergreen Avenue and Wille Street, and Wille and Milburn Avenue, both of which have two-way stop signs, as well as a left-turn restriction from Route 83 to Wille.

Cooney allowed that Evergreen is tight and raised the possibility of narrowing the median to provide more room for vehicles. He said the no left turn request is something the village could evaluate.

He also recommended the neighbors raise concerns with the village's Transportation Safety Commission.

Downtown Mount Prospect apartment proposal drawing concerns from neighbors

Mount Prospect plan commission backs Prospect Place apartments

  The Prospect Place shopping center in downtown Mount Prospect will be torn down and replaced with a five-story building that will include 80 apartments and ground-floor space for retail and restaurant uses. Steve Zalusky/
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