Could affordable housing go on hotel sites in Glen Ellyn?

  • Glen Ellyn has become the owner of properties containing the Budgetel Inn & Suites, just south of Roosevelt Road. The village finalized the $2.85 million purchase last week and is now weighing redevelopment options.

    Glen Ellyn has become the owner of properties containing the Budgetel Inn & Suites, just south of Roosevelt Road. The village finalized the $2.85 million purchase last week and is now weighing redevelopment options. Daily Herald File Photo

 
 
Posted1/17/2022 5:30 AM

Now that Glen Ellyn has acquired hotel properties on Roosevelt Road, the village is taking more steps toward redevelopment of the long-blighted area.

Next month, elected officials and real estate consultants hired last fall will hold a brainstorming session about the future of the site purchased by the village for $2.85 million.

 

Some village board members say they want to keep all development options open, but they're not starting from a blank slate.

"Certainly, one of the options we're going to explore is affordable housing," Village President Mark Senak said.

Religious leaders, community groups and parents of people with disabilities have encouraged the village to bring affordable housing to the site of Budgetel Inn & Suites and America's Best Value Inn between Roosevelt Road and Taft Avenue.

Advocates view a project in Elgin as a model for similar efforts to expand the affordable housing supply in Glen Ellyn.

Senak said he's met with representatives of Full Circle Communities and toured the Chicago nonprofit's affordable housing development at the former Larkin Center in Elgin.

"Based on my discussions, that site is a very desirable location for an affordable housing developer," Senak said of the village-owned properties near Glen Ellyn's Panfish Park. "It is close to schools. It has access to transportation. There's three grocery stores within walking distance."

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Senak and other board members say they're still open to considering alternatives.

"By the same token, I think it would be unfair to pigeonhole this process at the beginning and not allow a broader discussion that would engage the entire community in what would be an appropriate use" for the land, Senak said during a board meeting before the village finalized the purchase of the hotel properties last week.

Leaders from several of Glen Ellyn's faith-based institutions are in strong support of affordable housing at the Roosevelt Road site, members of DuPage United say. DuPage United, a nonprofit representing area churches, synagogues, mosques, housing groups and other organizations, has been working with Full Circle Communities on the push for affordable housing.

Another proponent is Julie Evans, a Glen Ellyn mother whose son has Down syndrome. Along with other local parents of adult children with intellectual disabilities, Evans has been advocating for more affordable and supportive housing options for their children to remain in the Glen Ellyn community as they gain independence.

People with a disability under the age of 65 made up about 4% of Glen Ellyn's population, according to the most-recent census figures.

"Housing that is safe, pedestrian-friendly, accessible to public transportation seven days a week and includes on-site, individually designed supportive services is critical to their success," Evans said in a message to the village board.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

State mandates require 10% of housing in each municipality count as affordable. Glen Ellyn now meets that requirement, Senak said.

"If we were to pursue that option, it wouldn't be because we were compelled to do so to comply with our statutory obligations," he said. Rather, he added, it would be because it was in the best interests of the community.

Senak said officials plans to involve school districts and residents early in the planning process. With that feedback, Savoy Consulting Group will sketch out five conceptual ideas. The village also hired the Evanston-based firm to recruit developers. A request for proposals is expected to be released in late May.

Ideally, Senak would like to see the 1950s-era hotel buildings demolished by a developer, but he said officials have to "remain flexible in terms of what the village would contribute to that development."

It's unclear how much it would cost the village to raze the hotel buildings, but Assistant Village Manager Emily Rodman put the number at roughly $500,000.

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