Blue Sky developers again pushing Des Plaines senior living project

 
 
Posted10/13/2018 1:00 AM
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  • A rendering shows a proposal for Blue Sky Residence, a 67-unit apartment building for seniors on the 900 block of North Avenue, between Second and Third avenues.

    A rendering shows a proposal for Blue Sky Residence, a 67-unit apartment building for seniors on the 900 block of North Avenue, between Second and Third avenues. Courtesy of Ronald Source Architecture

The developers behind a senior living community -- twice rejected by Des Plaines aldermen amid outcry by its potential neighbors -- are hoping the third time's a charm.

Real estate firm Pontarelli Cos. wants to develop Blue Sky Residence, a 67-unit apartment community for residents 62 and older, on about 3.5 acres on the 900 block of North Avenue, between Second and Third avenues.

The developers say they have made various changes to the project to address concerns of the nearby residents, including lowering the elevation of the building, buffering the development from nearby homes and decreasing the number of units. Still, some in the nearby community remain opposed, citing concerns of increased traffic and a change to the current neighborhood setting.

The city council denied the project in 2016 and 2017. It's set to vote Monday whether to preliminarily approve the development.

"We hope that the city council agrees with the planning and zoning commission that's voted for it twice," said Dan Pontarelli, owner of Arlington Heights-based Pontarelli Cos.

The property was previously occupied by Era Tool & Manufacturing Co., which relocated in December 2015. While some neighbors are concerned the development could decrease their property values, the developers say the project will improve a blighted area.

Plans for the project include 67 one-bedroom apartments in a single two- and three-story building. An outdoor, landscaped rooftop deck is proposed for the front part of the third story.

Other amenities include a craft room, wine room, lobby, exercise room, sauna and multipurpose room with a kitchenette. Outside, plans include a putting green, bocce court, fire pit and walking path.

The development would not provide health care or assisted living options. Pontarelli said a study of the market shows there is demand for this type of housing in the area and pointed out that the population over age 65 is growing nationwide.

"There is a lot of demand, and the demand will increase as well as the fact that this is not a licensed health care facility," Pontarelli said. "It's really somewhat of a resort living for active seniors."

The city council meeting is 7 p.m. Monday at city hall, 1420 Miner St.

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