Approved to develop a 334-unit apartment in downtown Wheaton

In the latest sign of downtown Wheaton’s vast appeal, a major residential project is set to remake a traditionally quiet section of the city’s core.

A Deerfield developer has won city council approval to move forward with plans for a seven-story apartment building intended to revitalize the south side of downtown. It’s the largest residential project moving forward downtown in nearly a decade.

The complex will span the entire city block bounded by Liberty Drive to the north, Hill Street to the east, Willow Street to the south and Wheaton Street to the west.

The redevelopment plans come at the end of a $35 million city-funded project to bring new infrastructure, streets and public gathering spaces to the shopping and dining district. City officials have hailed the apartment project as being key to the sustainability of downtown regeneration and future growth.

“This project represents an important investment in our city center and will support downtown vitality for a long time,” said Susan Fitch, a member of the City Council.

The council agreed Monday night to reorganize the downtown site to allow construction of the 334-unit complex. Councilman Lynn Robbins was the only dissenting vote. Robbins previously echoed nearby neighbors’ concerns about density issues. Other residents have reservations about the traffic.

        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        

The developer initially planned to demolish four older buildings: the Egg Harbor Cafe, a four-story office building formerly occupied by Wheaton Bank & Trust, the Perfect Thing store, and a house also used as offices on Willow Avenue.

Banner Real Estate now has property purchase deals on the adjacent corner, allowing the apartment complex to occupy approximately 2.6 acres downtown.

Officials say that when completed, the building will offer a range of housing options for occupants and vacant housing. The project will consist of 54 studio apartments, 135 one-bedroom units, 128 two-bedroom units, and 17 three-bedroom townhouses. Egg Harbor will move into a 4,502-square-foot first floor space in the northeast corner of the new building.

“We’ve talked about downsizing the community, that people want to sell their homes and stay in the community,” Mayor Phil Suiss said before the council formally approved the apartment schemes. “There is a demand for that space.”

Residents of the building will be able to walk a distance of two blocks to the Metra station and easy access to the outdoor dining scene on Hill Street. Electric charging stations will be installed in a private indoor parking garage. The Pace bus stop will be directly in front of the building.

According to Tom Sominsky, president of Banner Multifamily LLC, the pool is expected to generate approximately $1.6 million in additional property tax revenue during its first year. Approximately 65% ​​of that amount will go to Wheaton-Warrenville Unit District 200.

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