Arlington Heights board OK with 4-story building on vacant downtown lot

  • Arlington Heights trustees on Monday discussed what should be done with the southern portion of a vacant block on the edge of downtown.

      Arlington Heights trustees on Monday discussed what should be done with the southern portion of a vacant block on the edge of downtown. Christopher Placek | Staff Photographer

Updated 6/12/2018 6:50 AM

A residential building of four stories may be the tallest Arlington Heights trustees are willing to support on a portion of a long-vacant downtown block where bigger buildings were twice rejected.

The village board weighed in Monday night on what they'd like to see on the southern quarter of what's known as Block 425, on Sigwalt Street between Highland and Chestnut avenues.


It's where CA Ventures proposed a 5-story, 80-unit apartment building, but the board voted 4-4 to deny the project in March, while the original proposal for a 5-story, 88-unit building was rejected 8-1 last October.

So trustees went back to the drawing board Monday night to give the village staff and the property owner an idea of what they'd be willing to accept, should another project come along.

For Trustees Mike Sidor and Robin LaBedz -- who voted against the previous proposals -- a building of four stories would be acceptable, they said.

Referencing a slideshow presentation by the village staff, both trustees also liked the look of a four-story residential building at 180 W. Benton Ave. in Naperville that is across the street from single-family homes. The CA Ventures development proposals drew criticism from some trustees and neighbors, who argued the building wouldn't be compatible with homes to the south and west.

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"The project in Naperville looks lovely and architecturally more fitting with the homes across the street," said LaBedz, who doesn't want to see a "modern-looking" building on the Block 425 site.

Trustee Thomas Glasgow, who also voted against the previous plans, also liked the look of the Naperville example, but he reiterated previous concerns that a large apartment building on Sigwalt would lead to increased traffic and parking problems and alter the character of the neighborhood. He proposed townhouses could be a good fit there for young families or retirees looking to downsize.

Trustee Richard Baldino, who also voted "no" previously, was not at the board's committee of the whole meeting Monday.

Other trustees who previously supported the last CA Ventures proposal suggested they'd be OK with a 5-story building.

The 2007 downtown master plan calls for a 4- to 6-story building there, while the 2015 village comprehensive plan designates the Sigwalt parcel as "high-density residential." Village officials said Monday previous plans designated the area as mixed-use. It's currently zoned for single-family residential.

Trustee Jim Tinaglia recused himself and left before the discussion Monday because his architecture firm is designing plans for a development on the other three-quarters of the block.

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