Wheeling approves $64 million Uptown 500 development

Another piece of Wheeling's emerging downtown of apartments, restaurants and retail space has won approval from the village board.

The village board unanimously approved plans Monday for Uptown 500 - a $64 million development with 262 apartments, 12,000 square feet of commercial space and a six-story parking garage - at the northwest corner of Dundee Road and Northgate Parkway.

With the Northgate Crossing apartments and townhouses completed to the north and the Wheeling Town Center under construction across the street, the Uptown 500 is another significant part of the village's first downtown. The three developments will bring a combined 900 apartments to the area.

Uptown 500 is in the village's Town Center II tax increment financing district.

Increased tax revenues generated by new developments in TIF districts are diverted to a fund used to pay for improvement projects within the area. Throughout the 23-year life of the TIF district, other taxing bodies continue receiving tax revenues equal to the amount received before the properties rose in value.

DAC Developments and Atlas Residential, the developers behind the project, are asking the village for $10.7 million in TIF funds to help pay for the project's infrastructure, possibly including utilities, site work, roadway improvements and engineering. The village is negotiating terms of an agreement that would need approval from trustees.

"It's definitely a significant project and will require a large investment by the village to facilitate the overall infrastructure needs," said John Melaniphy, the village's economic development director. "The village is negotiating diligently with the developer to minimize the overall TIF obligation."

The developers for Uptown 500 and the Wheeling Town Center, which will include a 300-unit apartment complex, 10-screen movie theater and other retail, are working with the village to help improve traffic congestion at Dundee Road and Northgate Crossing.

With drivers already dealing with frequent backups at the busy intersection and nearby railroad crossing, the three groups are working on an agreement to add a second turn lane from Northgate Crossing onto westbound Dundee Road.

Joe Maschek, the architect for Palatine-based BSB Design who designed the development, said prime retail space has gained attention from restaurant owners.

"It's a dynamite corner for some type of brew pub or restaurant, so that's what we're aiming at and that's the interest we've seen," Maschek said.

The developers plan to start construction in the spring and rent apartments by early 2019.

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