Townhouse proposal near downtown would fit Libetyville's new long-range plan
A small townhouse development within walking distance of downtown Libertyville could be a sign of things to come for an east side neighborhood.
As proposed, Broadway Place would consist of two three-story townhouse buildings, one with three units and the other with four, at the southeast corner of Fourth Street and Broadway Avenue.
The half-acre corner property has been sold and a single-story office building occupied by Credit Union 1 would be demolished to make way for the development.
The neighborhood includes a mix of long-established industrial, office and residential uses. But that is expected to change to some extent as the first revision of the village's comprehensive plan in 15 years nears approval.
"I would say this is an example of a new use for the area envisioned in the pending comprehensive plan," said Chris Sandine, an associate planner for the village.
The current comprehensive plan, written in 2005, calls for the corner to continue as an office site, but the pending plan envisions it for single-family attached residences.
"There's a new owner and they want to switch it to residential, which is what the comprehensive plan review committee thought it would be," said John Spoden, Libertyville's community development director.
Spoden said the intent of the updated plan is to protect existing business while allowing for other uses where applicable.
"We're not looking to rezone a vast area to residential," he said.
The updated plan has been two years in progress and is scheduled to be discussed by the village board Jan. 19.
Steve Spinell, principal at the Vernon Hills-based Kinzie Real Estate Group, said he initially bought the credit union site to relocate his office. But he instead found another office space nearby and opted to pursue the townhouse project.
Applying as Fourth/Broadway LLC, Spinell is seeking to have the property rezoned and other variations allowing him to build the project.
According to information provided to the village, the value of the property is in the land, not the office building. The best potential is to reuse it for townhouses, according to the proposal.
The Libertyville townhouses will be rental units. The smallest, 1,144 square feet, will be priced to meet the attainable housing income limit in the village.
"I'm very happy to provide 'workforce housing' in the community," Spinell said.
The other six townhouses each would be 1,729 square feet with two or three bedrooms. The size and scope will fit with existing residences in the area, according to Spinell's application.
"They built a similar type development in Deerfield," Spoden said.
In Libertyville, Kinzie has built three new "infill" single-family houses on lots where the existing house was torn down, but also has done projects of up to 300 units, Spinell said.
The village's appearance review commission has discussed the project, but asked for more information on screening and landscaping. They're scheduled to meet again on the proposal Jan. 18.
The village's plan commission will consider the proposal Jan. 25. Both are advisory panels that make recommendations to the village board, which has final say.