Arlington Heights approves downtown apartment tower
The Arlington Heights village board on Monday approved a new, seven-story apartment building in the heart of downtown, with at least 15 percent of its units to be reserved for those who qualify under affordable housing guidelines.
Parkview Apartments, 212 N. Dunton Ave., will include 45 apartments in a mixture of one-, two- and three-bedroom units, two levels of parking and 1,254 square feet of retail space on the first floor, said attorney Rolando Acosta.
At least seven units -- and as many as 19 depending on financing -- are to be maintained as affordable housing. The village defines "affordable" as housing for a person or household earning 60 percent of the median income for the area. While the village's housing commission has guidelines that developers include affordable units in all new projects, many pay a penalty to avoid including them at all.
The project received approval from all seven voting officials on Monday. Trustees Jim Tinaglia and Carol Blackwood recused themselves due to business-related conflicts with the finances and architects on the project.
Two nearby residents spoke in opposition to the project with concerns about parking, the lack of a loading bay at the building and the implications of adding affordable housing to the downtown.
There will be 54 parking spots for residents at the building, along with six guest parking spots, Acosta said, which is above the number required by village code. If those spots are all full, the village will also make up to 15 overnight parking passes available in the Vail Street parking garage.
The closer north garage is already full for overnight parking due to agreements with commuters and other housing developments, officials said.
Officials on Monday worked to dispel myths about affordable housing.
"This is not public housing. It is not low-income housing. A lot of people call it 'working class housing,'" said Mark Hellner, chairman of the village's housing commission, adding that teachers, public employees and many people already living in the village would qualify for the affordable units.
Developers estimated the project would take about a year to build with construction starting in spring 2015.