Mount Prospect residents fear traffic, density of 320-unit downtown project

Residents living near the proposed Maple Street Lofts development in downtown Mount Prospect made their concerns about traffic, density and the impact of the 320 housing units on Lions Park Elementary School heard at a village board meeting this week.

And they will probably continue to be heard from at Tuesday's committee of the whole meeting, when the board discusses the downtown parking and traffic study. And again as the proposal moves through the zoning process and discussion before the village board.

Vikki Baron, a 40-year Emerson Street resident who teaches ballet, said it is difficult for her students to get from the north side of Emerson Street to the south side.

"Parents have to plan sometimes a half an hour to get from one side to the other side," she said. "If you're going to have about 300 residents over there right next to Mrs. P. & Me, that would entail, I'm assuming, every one will have a car."

She said that one neighbor on Maple Street is rushing to put her house on sale, with two dance prospects already telling her they have lost interest because of what's being proposed.

The development, which is in the Prospect and Main Tax Increment Financing District, is a public-private partnership with developer Nicholas and Associates. It includes an eight-story luxury apartment building, row houses and retail space on the former Parenti and Raffaelli property 215-225 E. Prospect Ave. Plans include improvements to the village's Metra commuter lot, including a possible parking deck.

Steve Przyborski, a 30-year resident, pointed out that the streets surrounding the development are residential.

"Those are two-way narrow streets that are old. There are cars parked on both sides. I don't understand how the traffic is going to move freely around that."

Resident Stephanie Kenny expressed concerns about the viability of the project. "What happens five years from now? What if those units don't sell? I just wish you would slow down."

Laura Hellier, the parent of a student at Lincoln Middle School, said she is concerned about the impact on the schools.

Mayor Arlene Juracek said the project is not a done deal, and the final design hasn't been completed.

"The last thing we want to do is create an even worse problem than we know we already have," she said. "By the way this is my neighborhood, too. I'm affected by this project as well."

The discussion likely will continue for some time - the zoning board is not expected to hear the matter until the first quarter of next year.

  Mount Prospect gave custom woodworking firm Parenti and Raffaelli $3 million to help it relocate its headquarters to a local industrial park so its former home, which includes empty space, could be home to a major downtown development. Joe Lewnard/ August 2018
The proposed Maple Street Lofts in downtown Mount Prospect includes row houses. Sketch courtesy of the village of Mount Prospect
Article Comments
Guidelines: Keep it civil and on topic; no profanity, vulgarity, slurs or personal attacks. People who harass others or joke about tragedies will be blocked. If a comment violates these standards or our terms of service, click the "flag" link in the lower-right corner of the comment box. To find our more, read our FAQ.