Plans for a 93-unit apartment development at 551 Congress Parkway are one step closer to fruition after Crystal Lake City Council approved a petition Tuesday from the Mount Prospect-based developer Equity Trust Company.
The preliminary planned unit development approval allows the site at the vacant parcel located near the southwest intersection of Congress Parkway and Exchange Drive to be rezoned from manufacturing to residential for what is being described as “upscale residences” in the form of three three-story apartment buildings with 31 units each, for a total of 93 units.
The developers would next need to submit a final unit development plan to the Crystal Lake Planning and Zoning Commission and City Council for a final approval.
The plans for the apartment community, called Courtyard at Congress Station, feature 21 one-bedroom and 72 two-bedroom units as well as a central courtyard, a dog park area north along Congress Parkway, a recreational area at the south of the eastern buildings and a retention pond.
An on-site parking lot with 199 parking spaces would be accessed via a single driveway on Exchange Drive.
Before the 6-1 vote Tuesday, the city’s Planning and Zoning Commission gave the review a positive recommendation.
A reason cited for the go-ahead from the advisory committee was the proposed development’s architecture, which Community Development Director Kathryn Cowlin said would be similar to other buildings in the area, including The Residences, Congress Parkway Apartments and Lutheran Social Services of Illinois’ Gable Point Senior Housing.
“There are other residential uses in the area, so this could fit in with the character,” Cowlin said.
Council member Cathy Ferguson, who was the only one who voted no, said her concern is the proposed development would be taking away space designated for businesses.
“While it’s a good project, I just don’t think it belongs there,” Ferguson said.
Mayor Haig Hableblian said to him, the project makes sense.
“I think we’re going to see more and more of this sort of blending of residential or multi-family in industrial areas,” Hableblian said.
He noted another development scheduled to be operating by 2023 that could pair well with a residential development and be beneficial to residents: The construction of an Amazon delivery station at 275 S. Main St. was unanimously approved in December and is slated to start construction in late spring or early summer.
The location is north of the Crystal Lake Business Center and ties into Exchange Drive. It would be a walking distance for tenants of the apartment buildings, Hablebian said.
Cowlin said a traffic study done for the apartment development took into consideration the Amazon delivery station.
The Pingree Road Metra station is in close proximity, too, Hablebian said.
Source: The Daily Chronicle