Controversial Des Plaines apartment building plan gets thumbs-up from council

A controversial plan for a seven-story apartment building in downtown Des Plaines received a final green light from the city council Monday.

After once again hearing from residents who oppose the plan, aldermen approved an agreement with Compasspoint Development that allows the Barrington firm to erect the 131-unit building at the northwest corner of Graceland and Webford avenues. A public restaurant and lounge and a parking garage are part of the plan, too.

Compasspoint hopes to finalize the necessary land purchases by late July, city documents indicate. Construction could begin in April 2024, and units could be ready for tenants by January 2026.

A city parking lot and the Journal & Topics Media Group's headquarters are on the roughly 1-acre site now. The building will be razed.

As part of the development deal, Compasspoint has pledged to purchase and raze a neighboring building at 1330 Webford Ave. and turn the land into a privately owned, 9,000-square-foot park that will be open to the public.

The purchase price of the municipal parking lot that's part of the site dropped to $10 from $300,000 because the developer promised to create the park.

As expected, Monday's discussion and eventual votes drew opponents to the meeting.

The project's foes have raised concerns about traffic, safety and aesthetics, and they repeated those complaints Monday.

They added rats, asbestos pollution and the prospect of temporarily torn-up streets.

Resident Mark Palmeri accused council members of "violating the trust that you've been given" by approving the plan.

One audience member spoke in favor of the plan.

In addition to the development agreement, the council approved a final property map and an agreement requiring the developer to provide and fund local recreational improvements.

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A seven-story apartment building is coming to the northwest corner of Graceland and Webford avenues in Des Plaines. Courtesy of Des Plaines
A seven-story apartment building is coming to the northwest corner of Graceland and Webford avenues in Des Plaines. Courtesy of Des Plaines
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