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Local News

Green buildings, community space proposed for Hahn Street redevelopment

ELMHURST – Five developers presented their proposals for the Hahn Street redevelopment project to the Elmhurst City Council this week.

In accordance with the request for proposals from the city, each project revolved around rental housing, retail space, parking and public plazas. They all offered storm water management solutions in the form of green roofs, underground storage, permeable pavement and other options.

While concerned about storm water, Third Ward Alderman Michael Bram also compared the amount of retail space in each project, because of the city's dependency on sales tax revenue.

All of the projects also talked about the luxury amenities associated with modern apartments, including pools, fitness centers, conference rooms and community lounge areas. David Strosberg, president of Morningside Group, compared their Hahn Street proposal to Wheaton 121, one of the group's recent luxury rental projects in the area.

Morningside has worked with the city of Elmhurst on a number of projects, including Crescent Court condominiums. The group also held the rights to the Hahn Street redevelopment site for six years and planned to build condos, but sold the property to the city due to the deteriorating condominium market.

Morningside plan called to convert the residences of its four-story plan or six-story alternative plan with additional parking to condominiums when the market improves.

Jupiter Realty Company has never worked in Elmhurst, but has experience with all property types. Their proposal used the alley between the redevelopment project and the existing Panera Bread and CVS stores to connect both developments, but would still allow traffic.

While Jupiter expressed no plans to convert apartments to condominiums in the future, their contemporary-style project included three-story townhomes on Addison Avenue.

Buckingham Companies also proposed a few townhomes to compliment the rental project. The Indianapolis-based company used two-story townhomes to hide above ground parking in the main six-story building from the street view.

Buckingham's proposed 6,000-square-foot community theatre space received applause from members of the public.

"In this location ... we felt that there was a lack of community dedicated space that would bring programming," said Scott Travis, Buckingham's senior vice president of development.

Another developer, Lincoln Property Company, specializes in developing luxury rentals only. Like the many of the other proposals, Lincoln included both public and private terraces within the five-story design.

The Lincoln presentation also mentioned approaching the project with the intent to gain LEED certification.

Banner Apartments, LLC, said they would contract Elmhurst's own Conservation Design Forum to help with green initiatives.

Banner also presented the concept of a small street that would split the property from York Street to Addison Avenue, allowing either all traffic, or only pedestrian use, depending on what the city prefers.

The thoroughfare would be lined with live and work tenants. Doug Farr of Farr Associates, a sustainable planning and architecture firm that would work with Banner, explained these tenants lining the street could be people with home offices, which would encourage public use of the space.

The council will discuss the five proposals, along with the Addison Avenue project, during a Committee of the Whole Meeting Monday following the City Council meeting at 7:30 p.m.

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