Decision time for Maple Street Lofts in Mount Prospect
Mount Prospect's elected leaders will weigh the recommendations of its staff against vocal public opposition Tuesday, when they're scheduled to vote on a massive, $110 million redevelopment for the south side of village's downtown.
The Maple Street Lofts proposal calls for a six-story, 192-unit apartment building that includes 14,000 square feet of retail space; a seven-story, 65-unit apartment building; nine buildings with 56 row homes; and a 268-space parking deck, all along Prospect Avenue near the downtown Metra station.
Proponents say it would bring more residents with disposable income to the downtown, providing a significant boost to businesses there and encouraging further growth.
But residents living nearby say the buildings would be too tall and the development would create traffic congestion and safety problems for their neighborhood.
In the view of those opponents, the project has moved forward at lightning speed since August, when the village agreed to reimburse Parenti & Raffaelli Ltd. $3 million for its relocation from 215-225 E. Prospect Ave., clearing the way for Maple Street Lofts.
But Mayor Arlene Juracek says it's the culmination of a process that began in 2013, when Mount Prospect was part of a study called "Homes for a Changing Region." The study determined the village is primed for upper-income rental housing, with downtown desirable for the 25-44 age group.
In the years since, the village board approved its Downtown Implementation Plan and the Prospect and Main Tax Increment Financing District -- which takes property taxes above a certain point away from local governments -- to spur downtown development. The board also has given the green light to a pair of high-end apartment projects on the north side of downtown.
"These projects are all looking to create a (housing) supply for the demographic that was identified in 'Homes for a Changing Region' that we lacked in our downtown districts," Juracek said last week.
Proponents believe the high-end rental homes could help mitigate a difference in the median household income in Mount Prospect, which was $69,520 in 2017, and Arlington Heights, which was $81,059.
"If you're a commercial business and you're looking to locate somewhere between Arlington Heights and Mount Prospect, you're going to go where it's $81,059," Juracek said.
Among the project's critics has been Trustee Paul Hoefert. He believes Maple Street Lofts includes too many apartments and there are too many unanswered questions about traffic and other impacts on the surrounding community.
"The intensity of this development is just too much for that side of the tracks," he said. "As it stands, I think the development needs to be less dense.
"In the end, (developer Nicholas and Associates) and the village (do) not really know what we're going to get there in terms of intensity of additional automobiles day in and day out," he said.
The board meets at 7 p.m. Tuesday at village hall, 50 S. Emerson St.