147 apartments planned for downtown Winfield near Central DuPage Hospital

A five-story apartment development, a $38.8 million medical office building and new commercial space have dramatically changed Winfield's small-town downtown in recent years.

In another sign of downtown growth, a Chicago-based developer has unveiled plans for a major residential project within walking distance of Northwestern Medicine Central DuPage Hospital.

Synergy Construction & Development aims to build a 147-unit, upscale apartment complex dubbed "Winfield Reserve" southeast of the intersection of Jewell Road and Church Street.

Village leaders say the project could provide yet another boost to downtown revitalization efforts. Largely stagnant areas of Winfield's Town Center, as the downtown core is officially known, have been recast as a medical and commercial district around Northwestern's hospital campus.

Synergy also developed the 162-unit apartment complex south of the railroad tracks along Winfield Road. The "Winfield Station" building opened to residents in 2021 on the former Winfield Fuel & Material Co. site, replacing what "was basically an eyesore," Village President Carl Sorgatz said.

"We added in well over 200 new residents, which, of course, is really important for being able to support our local businesses and being able to attract, which is what we're trying to do, new restaurants and retail in the Town Center area," Sorgatz said.

Synergy is now eyeing a 2.4-acre site - 0.7 acres of which is currently owned by Metra and 1.7 acres by Central DuPage Hospital - for its latest apartment proposal. Synergy and Northwestern have entered into a letter of intent for the sale and purchase of the hospital property for $2.5 million, contingent on the village's final approval of the development, officials say.

Sorgatz described it as a "really good location for additional multifamily housing." If fully completed, the apartment development would represent a roughly $50 million project, he said.

"We expect it to be able to help us bring those new businesses in," Sorgatz said Friday. "Our overall goal here is to make our Town Center a really walkable, desirable place for our residents to come to and go to the restaurants."

The hospital and the village publicly announced a Town Center revitalization plan in 2018. Village leaders have sought commuter-friendly, mixed-use residential and retail investment in a downtown area mostly populated with mom-and-pop businesses. The plan also responds to the demand for hospital parking and clinical space.

Earlier this year, Northwestern opened the three-story medical office building, with its herringbone stone facade, right across the street from the hospital.

As part of a development agreement with the village, Northwestern has set aside first-floor commercial and restaurant space in both the medical office building and a recently constructed, four-level parking deck west of the hospital.

The apartment complex would include a mix of studio, one-bedroom, two-bedroom and three-bedroom units. The development also would feature 6,000 square feet of indoor amenity space, a large outdoor area with a pool and an indoor parking garage.

"That's mainly really achievable because the property slopes down over 10 feet between Jewell Road and toward the railroad tracks, which are just to the south of the property line," Sorgatz said.

To facilitate the acquisition of the Metra property, village officials have negotiated an arrangement to swap ownership of commuter parking lots so that there's an "additional amount of acreage to make this particular project actually feasible for the developer," Sorgatz said.

Synergy is looking to demolish what's known as the Snyder office building to make way for the apartment complex.

"With a Metra stop and a major regional employer just down the street, this is a perfect location to attract residents. We're proud to bring a new jewel to Town Center and play a role in building its bright future," Synergy Principal Phil Domenico said in a statement.

The developer also is expected to request tax increment financing dollars due in part to high construction and borrowing costs. In a TIF district, as redevelopment boosts property values, the extra tax revenue that otherwise would go to taxing bodies such as schools and parks can be used to pay for improvements within its boundaries.

"It's going to be necessary to ensure that there's sufficient capital support, and to do that, TIF is going to be a key player in getting that done," Sorgatz said.

Synergy must complete preliminary design work and submit a village plan & zoning commission application, which triggers a public hearing. The developer hopes to break ground in August 2024.

How Central DuPage Hospital is reshaping downtown Winfield

Synergy Construction & Development wants to build a 147-unit, upscale apartment complex southeast of the intersection of Jewell Road and Church Street in Winfield. Courtesy of the village of Winfield
  A three-story medical office building opened to patients earlier this year across the street from Northwestern Medicine Central DuPage Hospital in Winfield. Brian Hill/, January 2023
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