Palatine approves apartment complex at former Kinsch Florist and Garden Center site

The nearly 5-acre former home to Kinsch Florist and Garden Center in Palatine could soon be the site of a 58-unit apartment development, under a plan approved by the village council Monday.

The property at 301 W. Johnson St. is under contract to Northpointe Development Corp., which wants to build a two-story building with four, three-bedroom units and a three-story building with 24 one-bedroom units, 19 two-bedroom units and 11 three-bedroom units.

Council members approved the plan, determining that it meets village zoning standards for the multifamily district. The next step for the developer is to go through the building permit process.

The flower shop opened in the 1950s and was run by brothers Leo and Ed Kinsch, said Leo's daughter, Linda Gilchrist. In the 1970s, the business grew with another greenhouse in the 1970s.

"They were growers," she said. "They weren't just people who bought things and then sold them."

The Kinsch family shut down the Johnson Street operation last year, citing a huge property tax hike resulting from its reassessment by Cook County. The reassessment changed the property's designation from agricultural to commercial, hiking the yearly tax bill from less than $25,000 to $183,000 in 2019, family members said. The county sent a $151,000 property tax bill for 2020, they said.

Gilchrist said the family is appealing, but in the meantime they cleared the land, which is now vacant.

"It was a big undertaking to have to demo that whole site," she said. "And it was a painful undertaking."

But the family is still in business. Valerie Kinsch Wray operates the Kinsch Floral Market at 48 W. Palatine Road, while Ken and Diane Kinsch, who live in Cary, run Kinsch Design, a landscaping firm that serves Palatine surrounding areas.

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