Warrenville project moves closer to reality despite opposition
A proposal to develop more than 30 acres of largely vacant land in Warrenville with apartments, townhouses and commercial space took another step forward Monday night.
The Warrenville City Council voted 5-4 to direct the city attorney to draft an ordinance that would allow the $73 million mixed-use development to be built on the east side of Route 59 at Duke Parkway, less than a mile north of I-88.
Aldermen are expected to take a vote on the ordinance later this month.
If approved, M/I Homes of Chicago LLC will acquire nearly 33 acres for the project.
M/I Homes wants to construct 89 townhouses on the property and set aside roughly 3.5 acres for commercial development. Atlantic Realty Partners, which is partnering with M/I Homes, would build a 259-unit apartment complex.
"What M/I Homes has proposed is the best use for that property," Alderman Clare Barry said. "This project will bring other development."
Mayor David Brummel, who voted yes, said the development would diversify the city's housing stock and attract empty-nesters and millennials. "Overall, it's going to bring people to Warrenville that we would like to see in the community."
Still, there's strong opposition to the proposal.
On Monday, four aldermen voted against the motion to draft the ordinance: Fred Bevier, Stuart Aschauer and Michael Hoffmann and Bill Weidner.
"I don't think that we need the volume that the apartments will bring to that area," said Aschauer, adding the city "already has approved enough apartments this year."
Aschauer said he doesn't believe the project would be "a good front door" to the community.
"I just don't like the development, and I won't support it," he said.
More than 60 people attended Monday's city council meeting. A number of them spoke against the proposal during the three-hour meeting.
Neighbors say they are concerned about traffic, noise and light pollution. They also say the development would change the "small-town charm" of Warrenville.
As part of the plan, there would be 17 townhouse buildings and seven three-story apartment buildings. The site also would include detached garages, surface parking and a roughly 7,000-square-foot clubhouse.
Some residents have raised concerns about falling property values for houses near the site, which is south of Ivan Albright Street and northwest of the Illinois Prairie Path.
But city officials say there's no evidence that property values would suffer.
The townhouses would have two or three bedrooms and range from 1,580 square feet to 1,976 square feet. They are projected to sell for roughly $330,000 each.
Meanwhile, the apartments would be marketed to tenants who would pay an anticipated rent of $1,000 to $2,500 a month.
Ronald Mentzer, director of community and economic development, said the average annual household income is projected to be roughly $75,000.
"These households will certainly have some disposable income to support existing businesses in our community," Mentzer said. "And they will certainly make this area of our community more attractive to new businesses that I've heard various community members say they would like see happen in this area."
It's not clear what could be built on the commercial portion of the development. A representative M/I Homes said the company isn't marketing the site yet.