Should townhouses be added to Wheeling's Prairie Park development?

  • Townhouses could be built within the Prairie Park condominium complex in Wheeling.

    Townhouses could be built within the Prairie Park condominium complex in Wheeling. Daily Herald File Photo, 2015

 
 
Updated 10/23/2020 11:40 AM

The developer of a Wheeling condominium complex wants to build townhouses on vacant land within the development.

If the plan progresses, 18 townhouse units in six, two-story buildings would be constructed in the Prairie Park complex, which is west of Milwaukee Avenue off Wolf Road.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

The complex now has four, seven-story condominium buildings. A long-promised fifth building never was constructed, and the townhouses would be erected on its footprint, developer Jamie Smith told the village board during a presentation Monday.

Another condominium building there no longer is economically feasible, Smith said.

"It's not that the condo market isn't there. Units are moving, the prices are great. The problem is the cost of construction," Smith said. "The cost to construct a similar building to what's there today far exceeds the revenue generated from sales of those units."

Every townhouse unit would be two stories tall, with three attached units per building.

Each unit would have about 2,200 square feet of living space and attached garages, Smith said, as well as driveways. Layouts would vary.

A new street running east and west would bisect the townhouse site, with the homes on either side.

The facades of the townhouses would match the brick-and-stone facades of the larger condominium buildings, Smith said.

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Community Development Director Ross Klicker expressed concern about the appearance of two-story buildings surrounded by seven-story condominium buildings, but the issue didn't seem insurmountable.

Smith said the Prairie Park condominium board already has approved the plan, and he said he hasn't heard objections from any residents. Some residents are pleased their views won't be obstructed by another tall condo building, Smith said.

"I have heard nothing but positive feedback," Smith said.

The village board took no formal action on the concept this week. Trustees unanimously agreed to send the proposal to the village's plan commission for review.

The Prairie Park development was approved more than 15 years ago, and the buildings went up in stages on the nearly 18-acre site. The village contributed more than $10 million in property-tax revenue to the project.

Smith's plan would require an amendment to the planned unit development agreement that led to Prairie Park's construction.

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