Controversial Des Plaines apartment plan could get council's final OK on Monday

Despite strong opposition from nearby residents, a plan for a seven-story apartment building in downtown Des Plaines could receive the city council's final blessing Monday.

The massive building is proposed for the northwest corner of Graceland and Webford avenues. It would contain 131 apartments, a restaurant and lounge, a rooftop swimming pool, a 179-space parking garage and other amenities.

A city parking lot and the Journal & Topics Media Group's headquarters are on the roughly 1-acre site now.

Barrington-based Compasspoint Development is behind the plan, which has drawn big crowds of opponents to nearly every city council meeting at which it's been up for discussion. They've primarily raised concerns about traffic, safety and aesthetics.

The public portion of Monday's meeting is set to begin at 7 p.m. at city hall, 1420 Miner St. The meeting will be broadcast live online at

Mayor Andrew Goczkowski expects a packed house.

"There's a segment of the population that feels passionately about it, and I'm sure they're going to come out and make sure their voices are heard," Goczkowski said.

The plan last big step forward came in August when the council voted to make the proposed construction site part of the city's central business district. That move was necessary, the developer said, because seven-story buildings are allowed within the business district but not in the general commercial zone the land had been within.

As part of the development deal, Compasspoint has pledged to purchase and raze a neighboring building at 1330 Webford Ave. and turn the land into a privately owned, 9,000-square-foot park that would be open to the public.

That aspect of the plan generated controversy when city officials revealed the purchase price of the municipal parking lot that's part of the site would drop to $10 from $300,000 if the developer promised to create the park on Webford.

A roughly 3,000-square-foot, publicly accessible green space between the parking garage and a sidewalk on Webford has been added to the plan.

The council is set to vote on three aspects of the proposal Monday:

• The site's final property map, which consolidates the municipal parking lot and the Journal & Topics land into one lot.

• An agreement requiring the developer to provide recreational space, which in this case is a mix of public amenities - the park and open space - and others just for tenants, such as a fitness area and swimming pool.

• The development agreement between Compasspoint and the city.

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Plans for a seven-story apartment building on the northwest corner of Graceland and Webford avenues in Des Plaines have stirred opposition from residents, who have cited concerns about traffic, safety and aesthetics. Courtesy of Des Plaines
The Des Plaines City Council could vote Monday on a proposed seven-story apartment building at the northwest corner of Graceland and Webford avenues. Courtesy of Des Plaines
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