7, 4-story apartment buildings proposed for stalled International Plaza redevelopment in Arlington Heights

2022-06-22 14:14:57 By : Mr. Bryan Chi

Seven apartment buildings are proposed for a portion of International Plaza on Golf Road east of Arlington Heights Road in Arlington Heights, under plans unveiled this week. Courtesy of Village of Arlington Heights

An in-ground pool would be at the center of an apartment complex on the existing International Plaza shopping center in Arlington Heights, plans show. Courtesy of Village of Arlington Heights

The long-awaited, now-revised redevelopment plans for International Plaza on Golf Road in Arlington Heights call for a teardown of the old 1980s-era shopping mall and construction of a 302-unit apartment complex and three commercial outlots.

Schaumburg-based UrbanStreet Group has proposed the latest concept to transform the aging shopping center, where redevelopment has stalled for decades amid lawsuits and economic recession.

Though the developer has been working behind the scenes with village officials for months, the newest proposal is set to get its first public review tonight at a meeting of the conceptual plan review committee. The advisory panel, a subset of the plan commission, meets at 6:30 p.m. at village hall before the full commission meeting at 7:30 p.m.

UrbanStreet has proposed construction of seven 4-story apartment buildings totaling 400,000 square feet on nearly a dozen acres on the rear of the site. The builder would place three commercial spaces totaling 37,000 square feet on nearly 6 acres that front Golf. Those commercial lots, which would be the last to be developed, could include retail, restaurant, service or office uses, according to the preliminary plans.

At the village's request, the developer has included a future plaza on the northeast corner of Arlington Heights and Golf roads, blueprints show. There's also a pool and pergola at the center of the apartment complex.

Six of the seven apartment buildings would be rented at market rates. The seventh, on the northwest corner of the site close to Arlington Heights Road, would have 44 units rented at lower rates and be codeveloped with an affordable housing developer, UrbanStreet said.

Under the village's inclusionary housing ordinance, 10% of units must be deemed affordable. The 44 apartments represent 14.5% of the total, so the project conforms, village officials said.

UrbanStreet's preliminary timeline calls for the seventh building to be constructed only after work has begun on the first six. Generally, village rules require the market rate and cheaper units to be built at the same time, but officials can authorize a delay.

"In order to justify any delay, the developer will be required to demonstrate that said delay is necessary in order to account for the different financing and funding requirements, economies of scale and/or infrastructure needs applicable to development of the market rate units and affordable units," Sam Hubbard, the village's development planner, wrote in a report prepared ahead of the committee meeting Wednesday.

The village is requiring UrbanStreet to complete a series of studies and reports ahead of a formal appearance before the plan commission, including a market study to illustrate the demand for 302 units of multifamily rental housing. Arlington Heights also wants a written plan addressing the disposition of existing businesses at the multitenant plaza and potential for relocating them, and landscaping, traffic/parking and preliminary engineering plans.

But Hubbard said village staff is generally supportive of the project so far. The residential component complies with height, setback and density regulations, the 465 on-site parking spaces are a dozen more than required by code, and the village's comprehensive plan calls for a mixed-use development such as the one proposed.

In the summer of 2020, Ryan Companies presented conceptual plans for a 3-story, 188-unit senior living community on the rear eight acres of the shopping center site. But those plans were put on hold, and less than a year later, the village board approved changes to a future land use map that called for the property to be developed with a variety of mixed uses, including apartments, restaurants and medical offices.

UrbanStreet -- which is master developer of the sprawling former Motorola property in Schaumburg -- would formally have to seek a rezoning of a portion of the Arlington Heights site from commercial to residential, and also go before the design and housing commissions. The village board would get final say on the project.

The timeline calls for construction to begin in about a year, with first move-ins by October 2024 and commercial lots finished by the end of 2025.