Apartment complex proposed for site of former Cary senior center

The village of Cary is working on a development agreement with True North Properties to convert the village-owned site of the former Kraus Senior Center into a multi-building apartment complex.

The future of the building, built in 1888 as a one-story school and vacated at the end of last year, was discussed by village board members Tuesday at a committee-of-the-whole meeting.

While village trustees and Mayor Mark Kownick responded enthusiastically to True North's initial concept plan - Kownick called it "an unbelievable opportunity" - several trustees indicated they'd prefer to see less density and more open space on the parcel.

"We don't want to see it too overbearing or crowded," Trustee Kim Covelli said Tuesday. "This is about keeping the character of the neighborhood."

True North Properties President George Ieremciuc promised a "simple layout" for the rental units, with a lot of natural light and large windows, and said any new buildings would match closely in color and style to the existing building.

Ieremciuc said that in his experience, tenants prefer smaller apartment buildings, but he could consolidate the number of buildings in further iterations of the site plan.

The development also could be completed in phases, beginning with renovations to the existing building to create apartments, Ieremciuc said. That would help mitigate any issues with supply shortages.

True North Properties was the developer behind the conversion of Immanuel Lutheran Church and Faith Lutheran High School in Crystal Lake into apartments and also was chosen by the village of Huntley to redevelop the former Catty Corp. property.

The next step for the Cary project would be to finalize a development agreement, including the purchase and sale of the property, Community Development Director Brian Simmons said.

Although there is no hard timeline for completing the agreement and submitting plans before the village's planning and zoning commission, Simmons said he hopes the agreement will be finalized before the end of the year, and possibly as soon as this summer.

"We're excited about this project," Simmons said. "We think it's a good reinvestment and repurposing of that building, and we're glad it will continue to be a piece of the community moving forward."

A rendering of an apartment building proposed for the site of a former one-room schoolhouse and senior center at 441 W. Main St. in Cary. Courtesy of True North Properties, Inc.
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