Apartments, single family homes, day care in Arlington Heights TIF plans
Three years after approval of a controversial Arlington Heights tax increment financing district, a number of redevelopment projects have been proposed or will be underway soon in the area, officials said.
Among the plans for the neighborhood encompassing the Hickory-Kensington TIF district east of downtown: a 79-unit apartment building, as many as 19 new single-family homes and a new day-care center for up to 150 children.
The 35-acre district is north of Northwest Highway and bounded by Dryden Place, Miner Street and Belmont Avenue. It's near Mariano's and other newer retail, although the area is marked primarily by older, industrial buildings and vacant land.
The village board approved the TIF district in July 2014 to spur redevelopment, despite opposition from some business owners who feared they would be forced to move.
The TIF froze property taxes at a certain level, redirecting revenues into a special fund controlled by the village for economic development purposes. While no funds from the TIF have been given to private developers, village officials say they are currently discussing what public improvements could be funded.
A planning document approved by the village board in 2013 calls for "a vibrant, mixed-use neighborhood which complements the downtown area, providing new housing and commercial opportunities in a walkable, pedestrian-friendly environment."
The latest proposal, which village officials believe fits with their plan, calls for a five-story apartment building on the northwest corner of Kensington Road and Hickory Avenue, where a manufacturing building was torn down. Called Hickory Apartments, it would have a mix of studio, one- and two-bedroom units and 4,000 square feet of commercial space on the first floor, according to plans by Neri Architects.
Another 28,000 square feet of land would remain vacant to the north -- and may be purchased by the village -- for future development, officials say. Campbell Street would be extended between the apartment building and vacant land.
The proposal recently went to the village's plat and subdivision committee but is still in its infancy, according to Charles Witherington-Perkins, the village's director of planning and community development.
Just to the north is Heller Lumber Co., a long-standing Arlington Heights business whose owners opposed the TIF and don't want to move. The lumber yard is staying put for now, as it recently got new tracks on a railroad spur line that connects to the property.
"There's currently no plans to redevelop their property," Witherington-Perkins said. "It would only be redeveloped with their interest and cooperation."
Nearby, more single family homes could be constructed in the Arlington Market subdivision at Dryden Place and Wing Street. Some 30 homes are already standing, and there is developer interest to build as many as 19 more on bank-owned property behind them, Witherington-Perkins said.
And now that a building permit has been applied for, construction could begin soon on the 15,000-square-foot Kensington School day care on the northwest corner of Dryden and Kensington. Plans were approved by the board last September.