After several years of planning, Fox River Grove village leaders gave the green light for a more than $250 million downtown redevelopment project to begin this fall.
The overall redevelopment plan calls for building roughly 500 apartments, about 100,000 square feet of commercial/retail space, and a hotel/marina. It will be developed in four phases on 46 acres that will hold a mix of apartments, commercial office space and retail built along both sides of Route 14 from Algonquin Road on the east to the Fox River on the west.
The village board Thursday night approved the redevelopment agreement with Grove Residences LLC for the entire project, as well as a special use permit for a planned unit development and required zoning variances for the first phase of development.
Phase one -- estimated to cost about $60 million -- involves building three five-story buildings with roughly 300 apartments total on 330,000 square feet south and west of Route 14 on several lots near Lincoln Avenue and Algonquin Road. The site now is home to two manufacturing companies, four aging apartment buildings, three small houses and a former lumber yard taken over by a construction company.
With the agreements now in place, the developer can secure the necessary financing and acquire properties within the phase one project area, Village Administrator Derek Soderholm said.
"We're real excited and anxious," he said. "It's certainly been a long process to get to this point."
Construction of the first phase is expected to take 12 months to complete.
"The great excitement of downtown redevelopment finally starting is sinking in for everybody," Village President Bob Nunamaker said. "The village is going to be revitalized by the infusion of new money, and it's important to note that the trustees have worked on this project for several years and finally brought it to fruition."
In the summer of 2015, village officials approved creation of a special tax increment financing district that overlays the entire redevelopment area. It is expected to generate slightly more than $8.7 million in revenues, which will be used to reimburse the developer for eligible expenses.
"The vast majority of the TIF money will go toward the purchase of land," Nunamaker said.
The developer is responsible for paying more than $2.1 million in fees to the village to mitigate the project's impact on various taxing bodies, including the fire protection, library and school districts, officials said.
Meanwhile, a multiunit housing development targeting empty-nesters or seniors is set to break ground by the end of summer. Great Properties' roughly $7 million plan calls for building 24 homes -- a mix of duplexes and townhouses -- on three acres just south of Route 22 and east of County Line Road.
A third project involving the building of an upscale banquet facility is underway and expected to open later this year.