As one affordable housing project opens in Arlington Heights, another faces hurdles

Affordable housing advocates in Arlington Heights celebrated the opening of a 40-unit apartment complex Wednesday, at the same time a proposed development in another part of town faces an uphill battle.

Crescent Place is the new four-story, 45,000-square-foot building at 310 W. Rand Road with one- and two-bedroom units priced below market rates. Monthly rents range from $621 to $1,489, compared to the area market average of $1,713, officials say.

The $18.2 million project by Housing Trust Group, a Miami-based national developer of affordable housing, and Northlake-based Turnstone Development Corp. received $12 million in low-income housing tax credits through the National Equity Fund, $4 million from the Illinois Housing Development Authority, and $12.5 million in loans from BMO Harris Bank.

The opening comes a little more than two years since the village board voted 8-1 to rezone a portion of the 2.5-acre site from commercial to residential and allow the development to take place.

That vote came after some eight hours of presentations, public comment and debate over the course of two meetings in September 2021. Neighbors argued the redevelopment would bring too much density and traffic to their already congested neighborhood.

But supporters like state Sen. Ann Gillespie argued more affordable housing is needed for those who work in Arlington Heights, seniors who want to stay there, and young people just starting out.

"This is a real issue for a lot of people," said Gillespie, an Arlington Heights Democrat who has sponsored legislation to help with financing and easing the regulatory burden for housing projects.

Mayor Tom Hayes noted one of the village board's recently-adopted strategic priorities is to seek, maintain and expand attainable housing in the community. Regarding the new apartment complex on Rand Road, he said residents' input during the approval process was instrumental in realizing a "high-quality final product."

"Crescent Place will be a good neighbor to them, and they will be good neighbors likewise to all those who reside here," Hayes said. "Affordable housing is an investment in our community's future - a promise that Arlington Heights will continue to be a place where families can put down roots and build a brighter tomorrow."

Now similar battle lines are being drawn on the south side of town, where Chicago-based nonprofit affordable housing developer Full Circle Communities has proposed a three-story, 25-unit permanent supportive housing development for people with disabilities on long-vacant land at 1519 S. Arlington Heights Road.

Called Grace Terrace, the building would contain 20 one-bedroom and five two-bedroom units available for rent to people with physical or mental disabilities, with a preference to veterans.

During an informal early review of conceptual plans in May, several trustees said they were open to changing the land use from office-transitional to institutional. But two weeks ago during the formal public hearing on the submitted plans, the plan commission voted 4-3 not to recommend the zoning changes.

At the end of an unrelated village budget meeting Monday night, two residents who live near the site asked the village board - which has final say on zoning matters - to deny the project.

Hayes said he and board members would listen to all resident input and factor it into their decision.

The project goes to the design commission Nov. 28, and could return to the village board as early as December.

40-unit affordable apartment plan in Arlington Heights finds detractors and supporters

Affordable housing project debate extends to second meeting in Arlington Heights

Arlington Heights board votes 8-1 for Crescent Place affordable housing project

Cook County Board approves loans for two affordable housing projects in Arlington Heights

Arlington Heights trustees open to plan for apartments for people with disabilities

What development projects are on tap in Arlington Heights?

  The four-story, 45,000-square-foot Crescent Place apartment complex at 310 W. Rand Road in Arlington Heights is now open, a little more than two years after receiving approvals from the village board. Joe Lewnard/
  Jordan Tolman, left, chief operating officer of Housing Trust Group, talks with Arlington Heights Mayor Tom Hayes and Trustee Nicolle Grasse during the grand opening of the Crescent Place apartments Wednesday. "Affordable housing is an investment in our community's future - a promise that Arlington Heights will continue to be a place where families can put down roots and build a brighter tomorrow," Hayes said. Joe Lewnard/
  Crescent Place has 20 one-bedroom and 20 two-bedroom apartments, with rents ranging from $621 to $1,489. Joe Lewnard/
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