Parking spaces still an issue for Schaumburg apartment plan
Schaumburg could get its first new apartment complex in about 30 years, if its developer can find a way to fit in the 50 more parking spaces demanded by the village's zoning board.
Chicago-based UrbanStreet Group LLC wants to build 192 apartments in six buildings on 6.5 acres at 680 E. Algonquin Road, near the Motorola Solutions campus.
Schaumburg Community Planner Marisa Warneke said monthly rents are expected to start at about $1,000, with a small number of larger units going for about $3,000.
Currently zoned for office use, the land has never been developed despite office buildings on either side.
The process leading to the apartment proposal began with the village changing the recommendation for the site in its comprehensive land-use plan.
"We thought we had an oversaturation of office (buildings), for one," Schaumburg Community Development Director Julie Fitzgerald said. "And there's a lot of residential in that area of the village already."
UrbanStreet Group came in earlier this year with a formal request for a rezoning and an apartment complex plan, both of which are still under consideration by the zoning board. The board was scheduled to continue its discussions on the proposal Wednesday, but that's been postponed to Jan. 7, while the developers continue to search for space for additional parking.
Though Schaumburg officials have worked hard to attract economic development in the wake of the recession, residential development has its own place in the recovery, Fitzgerald said.
Anthony Casaccio, president of Oak Brook-based Inland Midwest Development Corporation, agrees.
"The market for suburban multifamily is very hot at this time," he said. "Projects in suburban downtown areas near train stations -- transit oriented developments -- are the most desirable projects.
"We are seeing more renters in the market than homebuyers at this time, especially amongst younger people. That being said, projects need good locations and high-end amenities to be successful."
At some point, commercial businesses' success is limited until new shoppers and diners are added to the equation. But the housing market was among the hardest hit economic sectors during the recession.
"We are seeing more municipalities consider changing the zoning of commercial properties to allow for mixed use, specifically retail and residential," Casaccio said. "The more residential density in the suburban downtown areas, the more likely the retail will thrive and increase the sales tax base. Allowing for mixed use -- which usually means larger and taller buildings -- increases the real estate tax value."
The first residential development in Schaumburg to get off the ground since the recession is the owner-occupied Pleasant Square project at the northwest corner of Schaumburg and Roselle roads. But that development already was planned -- albeit in a slightly different form -- before the economic downturn.
The new proposal on Algonquin Road is distinct for being rental units as well as for being conceived entirely after the recession.
Though village staff supported UrbanStreet Group's parking plan for the site, zoning board members criticized that aspect of the plan when they first discussed the project in late October.
Several members said a lack of parking is a complaint they hear too often once developments are completed, when it's too late to make changes. They said they don't intend to miss an opportunity to prevent a problem before it occurs.
UrbanStreet Group originally proposed 224 parking spaces for the site, 159 of which would be in garages. That plan, they said, is based on a thorough market study of the type of resident who usually occupies apartments like those they're proposing.
According to village code, the proposal is 179 parking spaces short. But while village staff accepted the evidence of the developer's market study, zoning board members offered a compromise that requires 50 more parking spaces on site.
Representatives of UrbanStreet Group could not be reached for comment on the progress they've been able to make.
Warneke said the village has been presented with a few potential solutions that are still under review, but not yet a formal revision of the parking plan.