St. Charles apartment proposal draws concern from alderman, residents

 
By Eric Schelkopf
Shaw Media
Updated 9/26/2021 5:52 PM

St. Charles aldermen and residents are voicing concerns about the size of a 340-unit apartment community proposed near the city's east side.

Wisconsin-based Continental Properties wants to build the apartment community on the 27 acres north of Smith Road at Pheasant Trail known as the Petkus property. The site is in unincorporated Wayne Township, but St. Charles could annex it under the conditions of a boundary agreement between West Chicago and St. Charles.

 

The proposal calls for 340 units in 17 two-story buildings. That would include 34 studio apartments, 136 one-bedroom units, 136 two-bedroom units and 34 three-bedroom units.

A 4,630-square-foot clubhouse with a pool is included in the plans, along with two pet playgrounds and valet trash removal.

Continental Properties has built similar projects in North Aurora, Oswego and South Elgin. According to the developer, the occupancy in those projects is between 96% and 97%.

The project was discussed at the Sept. 13 City Council Planning and Development Committee meeting. Fourth Ward Alderman Bryan Wirball said he envisioned townhouses rather than apartments being built on the property. Wirball said he was concerned about the density of the plan along with traffic issues.

Third Ward Alderman Paul Lencioni said he liked the design of the project.

"I think it's absolutely gorgeous," he said. "I like all the consideration and planning."

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But Lencioni said he would like to see more green space included in the plan and for it to be less dense.

First Ward Alderman Ron Silkaitis said he was concerned that plans call for the community to be gated.

"You say it's a community project, but no one can go in there and walk around," he said. "That to me is not community."

Silkaitis also said he would like to see two entrances to the proposed development rather than just one in order to provide better traffic flow.

Nearby residents also spoke at the meeting to voice their concerns.

Former West Chicago alderman Nicholas Dzierzanowski objected to the project's density. In addition, he said he is concerned the development would only add to traffic and flooding problems in the area.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

"While it's a very nice development, it just doesn't fit in this parcel or this area," Dzierzanowski said.

West Chicago resident Teresa Bundy told aldermen that flooding is a problem in her neighborhood.

A new developer that has submitted plans to redevelop the largely vacant Charlestowne Mall on St. Charles' east side has also voiced concerns about the plans.

The partnership of S.R. Jacobson Development Corporation and Lormax Stern Development Company LLC. have entered into a purchase agreement for the former Charlestowne Mall property with current owners The Krausz Companies, Inc. In December 2017, Krausz Companies Inc. closed the interior shops and enclosed mall space at the center. Anchors Von Maur and Classic Cinemas Charlestowne 18 remain in the mall.

Part of its plans call for building 325 garden apartments in three-story buildings on the eastern portion of the site and 208 townhouses on the northern portion of the site.

"Our redevelopment plan for the mall depends heavily on its multifamily components in order to pay for the demolition costs estimated at $25 million," Manny Kianicky, authorized representative for S.R. Jacobson Development Corp. and Lormax Stern Development Company, wrote in a letter to Russell Colby, acting director of community and economic development for St. Charles. "If the proposed adjacent project is approved with its competing apartments, it will prevent our ability to move forward with this redevelopment."

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