Elgin council favors facility for people with disabilities
A plan to build a residential facility for people with physical and mental disabilities got high marks from the Elgin City Council.
Hanover Landing, a three-story building at 711 E. Chicago St., will be built by UP Development LLC in partnership with Hanover Township. Councilmembers unanimously voted Wednesday to preliminarily approve zoning and conditional use for the project. Final approval is expected in two weeks.
"I'm very excited and pleased to see that we are ... putting our money where our mouth is," Councilwoman Tish Powell said. "We always talk about what we need to do to help people with disabilities and mental illness. This is a very important project that allows folks to live independently and gives them support for life skills right here in our community, without having to leave Elgin and leave their families."
The 3.78-acre property includes two parcels, 711 E. Chicago St. on the north end and 712 Laurel St. on the south end. The building will be built along Chicago Street and will have 32 one-bedrooms and eight studios, plus a community lounge room, computer room, fitness room and common laundry.
Residents would live independently and have access to services -- such as case management, life skills training and employment assistance -- coordinated by Hanover Township in partnership with Ecker Center for Mental Health, which will have an office on site.
Resident Greg Parker, vice president of the Kane County North chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness, said he and his fellow chapter members in the audience support the project.
Mayor David Kaptain, whose wife serves on the Ecker board, said the project "just scratches the surface of the need" for such housing.
A single-family home plus garage on the property will be demolished.
The developer will look for ways to use the open space to the benefit the larger community, such as with a community garden or nature trail, officials said.
Jessica Berzac of UP Development said the cost of site work, acquisition and land is estimated at $8.6 million. Financing is expected to come from public and private resources, including low-income housing tax credits administered by the Illinois Housing Development Authority, according to Tom Kuttenberg, director of community and government relations for Hanover Township.
"The board is very appreciative for the council's support for this project that's been a long time coming," he said. "The board looks forward to having this in the community. It's a phenomenal resource for our residents."
UP Development's portfolio of supportive housing projects includes Myers Place in Mount Prospect and PhilHaven in Wheeling, which are fully occupied, and Heart's Place, being built in Arlington Heights.
The Elgin project will be managed by the affiliated property management company UPA, which will have a property manager on site during the day and on-call after hours, and a live-in staff person available 24 hours a day.