Residents criticize $110 million downtown Mount Prospect proposal

  • This is an updated rendering of the Maple Street Lofts project, in which the building in the foreground has been reduced in height by two stories and the building to the side has had its appearance changed significantly.

    This is an updated rendering of the Maple Street Lofts project, in which the building in the foreground has been reduced in height by two stories and the building to the side has had its appearance changed significantly. Courtesy of village of Mount Prospect April 2019

  • Mount Prospect residents Erik Wannebo, Laura Gastel and Stephanie Kenny were among those who filled village board chambers Wednesday to protest plans for a $110 million redevelopment on the south side of downtown.

      Mount Prospect residents Erik Wannebo, Laura Gastel and Stephanie Kenny were among those who filled village board chambers Wednesday to protest plans for a $110 million redevelopment on the south side of downtown. Steve Zalusky | Staff Photographer

  • The former Parenti & Raffaelli site on the south side of Mount Prospect's downtown would be home to the proposed $110 million Maple Street Lofts project.

      The former Parenti & Raffaelli site on the south side of Mount Prospect's downtown would be home to the proposed $110 million Maple Street Lofts project. Joe Lewnard | Staff Photographer, 2018

 
Updated 4/5/2019 11:40 AM

Mount Prospect leaders heard a steady barrage of public criticism Wednesday aimed at plans for a massive, $110 million redevelopment on the south side of the village's downtown.

The proposed Maple Street Lofts would feature a six-story, 192-unit apartment building that includes 14,000 square feet of retail space; a seven-story, 65-unit apartment building; nine structures with 56 row homes; and a 268-space parking deck, all on the former Parenti & Raffaelli site along Prospect Avenue near the downtown Metra station.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

The plan already has received the recommendation of the village's planning and zoning commission. Village trustees are expected to vote Tuesday on the proposal and a redevelopment agreement with developer Nicholas & Associates.

Residents opposed to plan, many holding signs reading "Say No to Maple Street Lofts," filled village board chambers Wednesday hoping to persuade trustees to vote against it.

Several called for the plan to be scaled down and criticized the height of the buildings, the number of apartments, the possibility of cut-through traffic through residential neighborhoods and the potential impact on property values.

William Street resident Karen Thompson called the plan "disastrous."

"It's not in the right location," she said. "Prospect Avenue is a little street. And, whatever the studies show, it's a one-laner. And the road cannot be widened.

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"It's very residential," Thompson added. "Lots of kids ride their bikes in the street all around there, especially in the summer."

But Mayor Arlene Juracek said opponents are spreading inaccurate information about Maple Street Lofts, including a mailer misquoting her prior statements about the project. She later responded to remarks from resident Stan Hillstrom by saying, "It's clear you came to argue."

Nicholas & Associates President Nick Papanicholas Jr. issued a statement defending the project.

"This project will transform our downtown," the statement reads. "In our 42 years of being involved in construction and development work, we have never worked so long and so tirelessly to craft a perfect project."

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