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updated: 7/15/2021 5:27 AM

Northbrook board reviews preliminary plans for rental development

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Trustees conducted a preliminary review to allow the construction of six, three-story rental townhouses on a vacant site on the village's northeast side at the Northbrook village board meeting Tuesday.

Schwartz Family Partnership LLC, owner of the property at 175 Point Drive, is planning to construct the townhouses, three of which will feature two-family end caps totaling 37 units on the 3.1-acre site south of Lake-Cook Road and west of I-294.

Five affordable housing units -- both townhouses and two-family dwellings -- are proposed for the development and would be mixed in throughout the site.

A restaurant, a memory care center and two condominium buildings are already on the property, which in total is 16.4 acres to the north.

While speaking to the board, property owner David Schwartz said many of the developments that have been built along I-294 include smaller units with high per square foot prices.

"There's not a lot of larger rentals, sort of three- and four-bedroom, and by building these townhome-style, you can deliver them more cost-effectively on a square-foot basis," Schwartz said. "So that's why we think it's going to fill a hole in the market. It's meeting a need."

Unit size would range from 900-square-feet to 1,950-square-feet, and rent would be $3,400 to $3,800.

While the preliminary plan appeared to be well-received by the board, concerns were raised regarding the amount of parking for the development. Proposed parking would include 83 spaces, including each unit's two-car garage and guest parking, while current zoning would require a total of 155 spaces.

Zoning relief being sought by the property owner includes a text amendment to reduce the parking requirement for townhouse dwellings, or a text amendment to allow a parking variation request greater than 25%.

"I would prefer, at all costs, not to do a text amendment for the parking variation, just to avoid unanticipated consequences elsewhere," trustee Robert Israel said.

Israel and fellow trustee Muriel Collison also noted that the number of affordable housing units would need to be six rather than five, according to the village's affordable housing ordinance.

As well, trustees noted that they would prefer more open space in the development since there is not a park nearby.

"It does sound like this is probably going to attract families, and I'm just a little worried about where kids are going to be able to hang out and play," trustee Heather Ross said. "There's just no parks that close."

The plan will next be reviewed by the village's architectural control commission.