Developer trying again for affordable housing in Palatine
A Wisconsin-based developer whose initial proposal to build affordable housing in Palatine faced much opposition last summer is back with a revised plan.
Northpointe Development's new plan calls for a two-story, 40-unit building on 2.5 acres at 874-920 N. Quentin Road, on the southwest corner with Poplar Street. The original plan called for a three-story building with 58 units.
The building would have a mix of one-, two- and three-bedroom units, available for rent to individuals whose income ranges between 30% and 80% of Cook County median income.
The median household income in Cook County between 2015 and 2019 was $64,660, according to an August report from the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning. Eighty percent of that is $51,728 and 30% is $19,398.
The developers intended to partner with Lutheran Social Services of Wisconsin for the approximately $20.4 million proposed project, which was allocated $15 million in low-income housing tax credits by the Illinois Housing Development Authority.
In response to the original plan, neighbors, village plan commissioners and village staff members cited concerns about traffic and density. The neighborhood consists of single-family homes and townhouses, with an apartment complex farther north.
The plan was withdrawn by the developers before it could be examined by the village council in August. The revised proposal was submitted Nov. 10.
Andy Dumke, principal with Northpointe Development, said the revisions address the feedback received over the summer, including during a neighborhood meeting. "We listened to all their concerns and we addressed them as best as we could," he said.
The new plan calls for lower density that conforms with the village's multifamily district standards. That was achieved partly by lowering the number of three-bedroom units -- expected to curtail the number of children living in the building -- which was a concern raised by some residents, Dumke said.
The building was moved an additional 5 feet east toward Quentin Road, the clubhouse was incorporated into the building, and the balconies on the western portion of the building -- facing single-family homes -- were removed.
The landscaping plan was enhanced to include minimum 10-foot trees to better shield neighbors, at a cost of about $50,000, Dumke said.
To address concerns about traffic, the entrance at Poplar Street was eliminated, so the site only would have an entrance on Quentin Road and "additional site features" for emergency vehicles. Also, 10 parking spaces would be reserved for visitors.
"We are confident that after collaborating with staff and neighbors, the changes incorporated in the new proposal will result in the success of Quentin Apartments," Jake Victor, vice president of development for Northpointe, wrote in a letter to the village. "Further, through the revisions outlined above, we are confident that we've taken every step possible to mitigate the impact of the proposed development on existing neighbors."
As much as some neighbors might want to preserve an open field on the site, the affordable housing plan "really does fit the neighborhood," Dumke said. "The tax credits are a competitive process and they are really hard to get. Obviously in this community, and as far the state agency is concerned, there is a need for this type of project."
The plan commission is scheduled to examine the revised plan at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 7.