No decision yet on new Arlington Hts. apartment tower
The Arlington Heights plan commissioners voted Wednesday to continue discussion of a proposed seven-story apartment tower for the downtown to a later meeting when they had too many unanswered questions about parking, the amount of retail space in the building and the number of units that would be reserved for affordable housing.
The proposed building -- Parkview Apartments, 21 N. Dunton Ave -- would have 45 apartments in a mixture of one-, two- and three-bedroom units, two levels of parking and 1,200 square feet of retail space on the first floor, said attorney Rolando Acosta.
But commissioners and nearby residents had questions about many details of the project that appeared in flux on Wednesday.
The proposed building would have 54 parking spaces, which meets Arlington Heights code, but residents and commissioners raised concerns about guest parking and a need for more spots than what the village code requires.
"The parking issue is the main concern," said Duane Carlson, a resident at a nearby condo. "We don't have parking for the retail space we have now."
Some commissioners suggested a different building layout, with two levels of underground parking and more retail space on the first floor, but developers said that may be too expensive because of necessary environmental remediation that would have to be done -- due to a former dry cleaning business -- to dig that deep on the site.
"We have looked at it but admittedly haven't come up with a solution that isn't cost-prohibitive," Acosta said. There was also disagreement about the small retail space included in the project.
Some said it was so small that it wasn't worth including retail unless there was much more space added, while others said there is already enough commercial space in the downtown.
"We have a lot of vacant commercial space in that area and in Arlington Heights in general, so I'm having trouble understanding why we would want to pursue more," Commissioner Lynn Jensen said.
When the project was first proposed, developers said there would be 19 units reserved for affordable housing, above the seven, or 15 percent, of the units that are recommended under the village's affordable housing guidelines. On Wednesday, Acosta said they would like to have more flexibility on the number of affordable units for funding reasons. The petitioners will be applying for federal Low Income Housing Tax Credits to help fund the project.
Several commissioners and residents spoke in support of the affordable housing component, however.
"It makes us stronger as a village to have people of different income levels living together," said the Rev. Jeffrey Phillips of St. John United Church of Christ, which is near the site. "It enhances our perspective of how different people live. Diversity has many faces, and diversity of income is just one of those."
The project will be revisited by the village's housing and plan commissions in August.