Mill Creek developers want to dump commercial for rental units
The plan to build a large office and commercial complex in the Mill Creek subdivision west of Geneva has been replaced by a 390-unit rental residential complex. A Kane County Board committee signed off on the change Tuesday, but the change likely will see some opposition once it reaches the full county board.
The business park in the original plan would have brought 210,000 square feet of commercial and office space to the area. About 70 residential units would have complemented the park. But the builder, Shodeen Construction, now says there is no profit to be had in that kind of project. The new plan will still have about 40,000 square feet of commercial space but the vast majority would be rental housing.
Shodeen representatives said the plan will actually have less of impact on local streets and flood concerns. City of Geneva and school officials already have said they do not oppose the plan. Neither did the majority of the Kane County Board's development committee.
"It's pretty well agreed that the rental market is going to lead the housing market out of the depression," said board member Drew Frasz. "I'm in support of it."
Frasz is the county board member who represents Mill Creek. But other board members decried the plan as unimaginative and even unhealthy.
"This is yet another change that will take away from the original concept plan of Mill Creek that it was supposed to be," said board member T.R. Smith. "There's already no town center. They've turned this thing from a model community into just another suburban subdivision."
Board member Barb Wojnicki said Shodeen's new vision is not compatible with anything county board members have advocated through the county health department the past few years in terms of having a walkable community.
"We're saying we want to put in 390 residents, and we're putting them in this corner with nowhere to go unless you drive somewhere," Wojnicki said. "Once we change a proposed use, it's done. We're going to really want that commercial area there."