Four Developers Compete for Downtown Lake Zurich
The village board heard varied plans for downtown redevelopment in Lake Zurich's TIF district, Monday night, but no decision yet.
Lake Zurich wants to make its downtown a destination, and the sooner the better. As the village gets closer to a 2014 deadline to pay off its TIF debt, the board is eager to get going on a development that could bring revenue into the TIF district.
Developers presented four distinct plans before the village board, Monday night. However a decision was tabled until the Aug. 6 meeting in order to give board members time to study the proposals.
The four developers were: J. Moises Cukierman, John Breugelmans of ARDE, Richard Sova of Landover Corporation and David Smith of Southshore Real Estate. Smith was chosen as developer for downtown previously, but his contract was terminated when he was unable to meet the Jan. 1, 2011 deadline for financing the project.
The proposals were varied and primarily focused on Block A, which is completely owned by the village, and located across from the Promenade on Main Street:
- J. Moises Cukierman is proposing a three and one-half story luxury apartment building with 113 units. The units would have lake views and the complex would have a pool and garden area. The units would be primarily one bedroom with an average of 787 square feet. The developers told the village they are open to providing some commercial retail space on the ground floor, since the board members have expressed a desire for mixed-use development. Cukierman told the board that his group is flexible on the project. “Bringing 113 residents would have a huge economic impact on development and we would hope it would trigger additional development,” he said.
- John Breugelmans of ARDE is proposing a five-story contemporary mixed-use building, with a lot of glass facing the lake. The building would include 50 units and 60 percent would be two bedrooms at 1,200 square feet. There would be a raised plaza overlooking the lake as well as a restaurant, coffee shop and ice cream shop. He told the board he already has retailers interested in the location. Breugelmans urged the village to put Lake Zurich on the map and get away from the Alpine image. “Alpine means mountain . . . the highest hill in Lake Zurich is 20 feet,” he said. “Instead of being known as the Alpine village, you could be known as the Green village.” Breugelmans is the developer of Riverside Plaza in Algonquin.
- Richard Sova of Landover proposed a U-shaped residential building, with three stories that progress to four stories in the middle. The 87-unit complex would include apartments that would be converted to condos. The average size of units would be 1,050 square feet. The building would have an outdoor plaza for residents. There would be no commercial. Doug Buster of BSB Design, whose work includes Concord Village in Lake Zurich, is working with Sova. He told board members that they could not go wrong with any of the developers present, however, he urged the village to get a market study. “You can’t afford not to have a successful development in this community. You’ve got to get bodies living here before you can support retail,” Buster said.
- David Smith of Southshore Real Estate told the board he would like to start with Block E, rather than A. He said Block E, which is along Robertson Road and Main Street, already has infrastructure and development could begin sooner which will show a destination is being produced and tax revenue will be available sooner. He said his company is already in the process of exploring development of Block E, since the village does not own it. Smith has plans for four other blocks as well. His plans for Block A include rerouting Main Street in order to have a larger, unimpeded lakefront gathering space with amenities such as a small marina with canoes and sunfish and up to six restaurants. Smith said he believes his plan provides a solution for connecting people.
Developers were asked how soon they could complete the project and most said it would be about two years. Smith said development of Block E could occur sooner. Mayor Suzanne Branding told Smith he could just buy the property and get started, since the village does not own the property. Block E does include the historic Robertson House, which is more recently referred to as the Snelton House.
Of the four developers, Richard Sova and John Breugelmans would be joint partners in each other’s projects.
Developers presented various estimates of the tax revenue that would be generated by their projects, but trustees wanted more time and expertise to consider the numbers.
"This is the first time we had four developers who want to build in Lake Zurich for a long time. These are hard decisions, but we do have opportunities," said Trustee Terry Mastandrea.