- Mar 21, 2016
After the project was nearly voted down in January, the Village Board narrowly approved the mixed use development at 1000 Skokie Boulevard by a vote of 4 – 3. The project includes a 93,000 square foot Life Time Fitness facility, a 43,000 square foot Children’s Learning Adventure day care facility and a 304 unit rental apartment building.
Trustees applauded the developer’s decision to cut back the size of the project by 10% by reducing the number of apartment rental units and lowering the height of the garage. To address concerns about safety, 100 parking spaces will be dedicated for the Children’s Learning Center for prime hours to accommodate the facility’s procedures that require a caregiver to walk a child into the Center from a parked car, not dropped off at the curb.
Trustees Ciesla, Scolaro, Heller and Buehler voted in favor of the project; Trustees Karagianis and Israel and President Frum voted against it.
Trustees praised the developer for making the substantial changes. “This development will enhance this corridor,” commented Trustee Kathryn Ciesla. Both she and Heller pointed out that it was not realistic to expect retail on the site and that that the property is currently zoned for an office building. Ciesla noted that the developer reduced the size of the apartment building by 50,000 square feet by removing a portion of the building along Sunset Ridge Road to appease neighbors. She also praised the addition of green space and the dedicated pick-up/drop-off lane for buses.
Trustee Todd Heller pointed out that despite neighbor objections, the project was the best for the community as a whole. “We must be flexible and understand the changing times,” he commented. “I think this is a positive development moving forward for Northbrook. This is an ugly piece of property — it’s not open land.” He also noted that the tax break that is grandfathered into the project would not apply to the apartments.