- Jun 19, 2019
Affordable Housing “Seed Money” Part of Proposal
The much-discussed transformation of the west end of Northbrook Court is expected to begin soon, following approval of the proposal by the Village Board. The process of reaching that consensus required a new emphasis on a broader public policy issue– affordable housing within the Village. The residential developer is providing $750,000 for the Village to apply as it sees fit toward the creation of affordable housing.
The redevelopment plan includes the demolition of the existing Macy’s store to make way for a five-story apartment building with 315 units, along with a 70,000 square foot supermarket, new retail and restaurant spaces, and a grand lawn for community use. Public comments were received urging the Board to require a percentage of the residential spaces to be designated as affordable housing, a sentiment that Trustee Jason Han had echoed in a May Board meeting. The Village currently has no comprehensive plan for affordable housing.
Responding to those comments, the developer of the residential project Ryan Companies offered to pay the Village $750,000 to create an affordable housing fund to be used at the Trustees’ discretion. They argued that the Northbrook Court project would not be feasible without market-level rents throughout the property, and suggested that the payment could be used as “seed money” to develop a community-wide plan. The money would be paid in three installments, beginning with the issuance of the apartments’ certificate of occupancy.
Prior to voting on June 11, the Board announced that it will institute new procedures in Committee of the Whole meetings to address topics of major importance. President Sandy Frum stated that affordable housing policy would be at the top of that list.
The resolutions in favor of the project were approved by a 5-2 vote. Trustees Han and Heather Ross voted no, reiterating their desire to see affordable units as part of the project.