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La Grange board discusses apartment development at former YMCA lot

Published: Tuesday, Aug. 26, 2014 3:44 p.m. CDT
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(Kristin Pedicini - kpedicini@shawmedia.com)
La Grange residents listen during the La Grange Village Board's discussion of a apartment complex development proposal at their Monday meeting.

LA GRANGE – The La Grange Board of Trustees discussed a proposal for a multiple-family development at La Grange Road and Ogden Avenue on the site of the former YMCA during their Monday board meeting.

The proposed apartment building, at 31 E. Ogden Ave., will consist of 278 apartments, each ranging from $1,300 to $3,000 per month, according to Assistant Community Development Director Angela Mesaros.

“We’re trying to build a quality project for the village,” said Dean Newman, senior vice president architect of Opus, a 60-year-old development company based out of Minnesota.

Through the presentation, Opus officials described landscaping plans, courtyard ideas, floor plans and a proposed common area for the development.

After Opus’ presentation, both trustees and residents spoke out raising points of concerns regarding the proposed building.

The concerns ranged from questions about stormwater management to who the potential residents moving into the apartment as tenants would be.

One resident, Rich Gronske, said the development would be much better if the units were sold as condominiums instead of rented.

“A development like this is a disservice to the existing residents of La Grange,” Gronske said.

Looking at the proposed development, the rentals will be marketed toward renters in their 30s and empty nesters, according to Sean Spellman, vice president of Opus Development.

Spellman called the ideal clientele “renters by choice,” meaning they have the money to buy but choose to rent.

“We think we have a phenomenal concept,” Spellman said.

The village of La Grange Plan Commission unanimously approved the developer’s proposal after a public hearing July 22.

Along with the residential building, Opus’ plan also calls for a 9,000-square-foot retail space in a separate building at the corner of La Grange Road and Ogden Avenue.

Moving forward, the Opus development is expected to go before the board for an official vote at one of the board’s September meetings, according to Village Manager Bob Pilipiszyn.

“If everything falls into line, the soonest available [meeting] would be Sept. 8,” Pilipiszyn said. “If not, then the next date it could be would be Sept. 22.”

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