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 


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 


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  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.

JF July 25, 2012 at 02:27 PM
Let's see. J. Moises Cukierman is proposing the "units would be primarily one bedroom." That sounds like a senior citizen center. John Breugelmans of ARDE is proposing "a raised plaza overlooking the lake as well as a restaurant, coffee shop and ice cream shop." Amen. A restaurant would make it a destination for ALL LZ residents. Make that a great independent restaurant ... we have enough uninspired chain restaurants in the area. Richard Sova of Landover says "There would be no commercial." Boo. If LZ had nice lakefront restaurants people would come. I live in LZ but go to Wauconda with my family to dine. Wauconda is doing it right. Independent restaurants that draw people from all over has transformed the town. The Daily Herald recently ran a story highlighting what a great destination the town has become. David Smith of Southshore Real Estate wants "a larger, unimpeded lakefront gathering space with amenities such as a small marina with canoes and sunfish and up to six restaurants." Hallelujah. Smith has real vision. Marina? Restaurants? I love it.
Kathy July 25, 2012 at 02:39 PM
These are excellent observations. Making lz a public destination should be the goal.
Mary July 25, 2012 at 02:49 PM
Why are we planning on putting more living spaces in LZ when LZ has nothing to offer as a downtown destination? Would be great if developers would develope the downtown and try to bring in more restaurants and stores to make it a place people want to come to.
Mary July 25, 2012 at 02:55 PM
Also 1 bedroom apts can be for singles but if LZ has nothing to offer why would more single people want to move to LZ? Agree with JF. We go to Wauconda for lakefront dining and Barrington/Deer Park for variety. Like David Smith of Southshore Real Estate plan as well! Bring more commercial to the downtown!
Paul Hunt July 25, 2012 at 04:03 PM
I agree with Kathy, Lake Zurich should be a "public destination." I always talk to people that remember taking weekend trips to Lake Zurich when they were growing up. Who's visiting now? In response to John Breugelmans, there are "bodies" living here, keep us here. My family just went to downtown Arlington Heights Friday night. I haven't been there in about 8 years and we are already talking about when we can make another trip down there. There is a diverse offering of restaurants and shops with a clean modern style. 25,000 people making Lake Zurich Alpine days part of their plans shows there is support for fun and unique attractions in downtown Lake Zurich.
K R July 28, 2012 at 01:10 PM
Will their ever be a passenger train in lake zurich's future? There is the cargo train that goes right through but didn't know if commuter was ever a possibility? This would help the downtown area significantly!
Jim Tarbet July 28, 2012 at 04:42 PM
The likelihood of passenger service at any time in the future is almost nill. Formal plans to provide a service have been in place for 30 years, called the Outer Circumferencial Corridor. The CN/EJ&E situation has all but killed any hope of it ever happening. The concept would have been great for Lake County, more useful than a Route 53 extension. It would have provided the equivalent of bus service without added road traffic, provide a transportation pattern that does not now exist, and would have served the core of Lake County communities from Barrington, Lake Zurich, Hawthorn Woods, Vernon Hills, Lake Forest, North Chicago & Waukegan. Barrington opposed it which essentially killed it years ago. Now look at the mess they have.
Kimberly M. August 29, 2012 at 04:25 PM
Fully concur with Jim. The train should have been Priority 1 for a decade now, and it's only getting worse. What makes all those home values in Barrington, Palatine and AH so great?? Commuter service to downtown! If LZ is going to have a chance to compete, we need to become a 'destination' suburb, taking full advantage of the lake, and the great community spirit we have. 1 bedroom apartments?? Who wants those? We need something that will continue to build up our family suburb. Single people are not tearing down Route 22 to move to LZ.


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