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Government

Developer asks Glen Ellyn for more than $2M in financial incentives for luxury apartment building

Glen Ellyn trustees are receptive to giving Reva Development Partners more than $2 million in financial incentives to build a luxury apartment complex across the street from the Glen Ellyn Public Library.
Glen Ellyn trustees are receptive to giving Reva Development Partners more than $2 million in financial incentives to build a luxury apartment complex across the street from the Glen Ellyn Public Library.

GLEN ELLYN – Glen Ellyn trustees are receptive to giving Reva Development Partners more than $2 million in financial incentives to build a luxury apartment complex across the street from the Glen Ellyn Public Library.

Trustees discussed the proposed Avere on Duane development during a village workshop meeting June 18. Chicago-based Reva Development Partners is proposing to build a four-story, 48-unit luxury apartment building at 1.17 acres at 427-443 Duane St. and 425-435 Melrose Ave.

The development would be directly across from the library, which is at Prospect Avenue and Duane Street. Reva plans to make an $18 million to $20 million investment in the project.

The project would include an underground parking garage and additional surface parking. As proposed, the village would give Reva as much as $200,000 in capital costs to reimburse costs associated with street and stormwater improvements on Duane Street and Melrose Avenue, as well as a tax increment financing incentive of as much as $1.9 million and a reduction of $100,000 in developer donations.

Reva has told the village that without TIF incentives, it cannot move forward with the project because it is not able to meet a return on project costs of 6 to 7 percent in order to secure equity investors for the project. The TIF funding agreement would be as much as $1.9 million or through 2031, whichever comes first. Reva would have to justify TIF-eligible costs to receive the increment.

"No dollars will be expended unless the project moves forward," Village Manager Mark Franz told trustees. "We believe this project meets the goals of the downtown plan and our strategic plan."

Those include the goal of bringing new residents to the downtown who will support downtown businesses and creating a more diverse housing stock, officials said. The project would include eight one-bedroom and 40 two-bedroom units ranging from 870 square feet to 1,656 square feet in size.

Warren James, a principal with Reva Development, told trustees the proposed project would be geared toward empty-nesters.

"It's being designed for people who want to stay in the community and don't need the big house and want proximity to the downtown," James said.

Reva has developed multifamily projects in several communities, including Vernon Hills, Wheeling, Orland Park and Deer Park.

"I like the development," trustee Pete Ladesic said. "I think our risk is minimal. I think there is a need. I'm glad you guys did your homework and realized that need."

Trustee John Kenwood also supported the project.

"I like what it does for the downtown," he said. "I'm struggling a little with the percent that we're giving to sort of ensure a return. It looks like 11 percent of the project, and that seems high to me. I think I would like some consideration around if you sell it or turn it into condos, that there's some sort of refund on the investment we allocated to get you there. I think there should be some compensation back to the taxpayer for that, since we helped to get the program going."

Trustee Mark Senak also voiced concerns about the village's financial investment in the project.

"This is far more than I would want to pay," he said. "But for the right deal, we would make the investment as a village. And I think this is the right deal. I think the design of this fits this site. It integrates well into the site and into the community. And that is a big part of why I am willing to maybe overpay for this."

Senak said the village's financial risk "is hedged pretty well."

"There is no risk to the general fund," he said. "It is performance based... And at the end, 100 percent comes back to us. So for those reasons, I am in favor of it."

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