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updated: 2/11/2020 1:35 PM

Why neighbors oppose 5-story office building, roof deck proposal in Green Oaks

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  • Impact Networking LLC is proposing a new corporate headquarters near I-94 on the south end of Green Oaks.

    Impact Networking LLC is proposing a new corporate headquarters near I-94 on the south end of Green Oaks.
    Courtesy of village of Green Oaks

 
 

A plan for a 5-story office building topped with a roof deck east of I-94 in Green Oaks has posed concern for some nearby residents.

Impact Networking LLC, which provides technology and services to businesses, is planning a new corporate headquarters on five acres between a tollway frontage road and the Lucky Lake subdivision on the south end of town.

Houses occupy 16 of the 17 subdivision lots, and a portion of the neighborhood backs up to the Middlefork Savanna Forest Preserve. The 17th lot is zoned for light industrial use.

An office building is permitted in that zoning district but Impact is seeking a special use to allow for an open air rooftop deck and penthouse structures to enclose the stairways, elevator lobby and restrooms.

The building conforms to height standards for that zoning district, the company says, but the penthouse structures would increase the height to 85 feet.

That has caught the attention of residents in Lucky Lake, who have been following the proposal since it surfaced last summer. The village's plan commission is hosting a public hearing on the request at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday at village hall, 2020 O'Plaine Road.

Resident Cathy Kambol said she and others understand an office building is permitted on the site but the requested 85-foot height exceeds the maximum allowed variance.

"It's (zoned) light industrial but keep it within reason of light industrial," she said. "It's well beyond anything that has been built in the area," she added.

Kambol says the height and proposed look of the facility doesn't fit the stone and wood character of the residential neighborhood, noting the red tower structure depicted in renderings submitted to the village.

"It's kind of garish, to be honest," she said.

Some residents also question potential environmental impacts and other aspects, such as setbacks, Kambol added.

Impact was established in 1999 as a copier dealer and has grown to one of the Chicago area's largest privately-held companies. The business technology company has 20 locations, 700 employees and annual revenues of more than $142 million, according to the information provided to the village.

The proposed office in Green Oaks will be the corporate headquarters, with most occupants relocated from other buildings in an adjoining campus in Mettawa, the company said.

Impact says many competitors have moved to downtown Chicago to provide tech workers with an urban environment and amenities. The company says a rooftop deck for employees at its campus would help it stay competitive. The deck would have work tables and Wi-Fi service as a "casual, alternative work space in a relaxed environment."

A state of the art fitness center for employees is also planned for the facility.