Plan for 5-story downtown apartment building nears approval in Mount Prospect

 
Updated 2/18/2019 12:29 PM
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  • Mount Prospect village trustees are scheduled to vote March 5 on plans for a five-story, 97-unit apartment building on the site of the former Central Plaza shopping center in the village's downtown. The project won a recommendation last week from the village's planning and zoning commission.

    Mount Prospect village trustees are scheduled to vote March 5 on plans for a five-story, 97-unit apartment building on the site of the former Central Plaza shopping center in the village's downtown. The project won a recommendation last week from the village's planning and zoning commission. Courtesy of Mount Prospect

  • Developers are proposing a five-story, 97-unit apartment building at 10 N. Central St. in Mount Prospect's downtown. The village board is scheduled to vote on the proposal March 5.

    Developers are proposing a five-story, 97-unit apartment building at 10 N. Central St. in Mount Prospect's downtown. The village board is scheduled to vote on the proposal March 5. Courtesy of Mount Prospect

The Mount Prospect village board is on the verge of approving a five-story, 97-unit apartment building on the site of the former Central Plaza shopping center, long considered an eyesore in the village's downtown.

Developer First Equity Group of Chicago is teaming with Harlem Irving Companies on the $25 million project at 10 N. Main St., which was recommended for approval Thursday by the village's planning and zoning commission.

The village board is expected to vote on the proposal March 5.

Community Development Director Bill Cooney said developers modified the proposal after residents raised concerns during an open house in December. The revisions, related to setbacks and architecture, "went a long way" toward winning a recommendation from the zoning panel, Cooney said.

The redevelopment is expected to generate about $291,000 in annual property taxes, making the village's costs of acquiring the former shopping center, demolishing the building and removing abandoned heating fuel tanks and contaminated soils a worthy investment, officials say.

"This developer investment creates an opportunity to be reimbursed for funds outlaid by the village, while advancing our objective to add more quality residential units downtown," Village Manager Michael Cassady said.

Emails to the planning and zoning commission from residents reflect a mix of enthusiasm and concern.

"This piece of property has long been an eyesore. When the building was there, it stood mostly empty and in disrepair," reads an email signed by Roberta and Pat Hamann and Tom Nelson. "Now, the building is gone, which we're grateful that the village got the ball rolling on this. We have seen the drawings for this new development, and we think it would make a beautiful addition to Mount Prospect."

But Pine Street resident Brad Tomky worries about more traffic in the area.

"With the development proposed to add 70+ units, the added traffic is only going to get worse as there is no dedicated right turn lane at the Main/Central intersection," he wrote.

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