Oak Park Plan Commission to discuss Lake and Forest high-rise

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By Marty Stempniak

Staff Reporter

The Oak Park Plan Commission is expected to start discussing changes to the high-rise apartment tower proposed for the corner of Lake and Forest in downtown Oak Park.

Developer Sertus Capital Partners wants to switch the 20-story tower to apartments, rather than condos and a hotel, because of the struggling economy. The plan commission approved the initial project back in January 2010 but needs to review it again because of the change in uses.

This time around, they'll only discuss the variances needed because of the building's density (270 apartments) and shortage of parking (288 spaces are provided for tenants in the 588-space garage). Commissioners will not rehash their discussions on parts of the project that remain unchanged, such as the height.

Thursday's meeting will include a presentation from the developer and possibly the start of cross examination of Sertus. Three people have already signed up to quiz the developer, and those who are still interested have until 5 p.m. Aug. 24 to do the same, according to Village Planner Craig Failor.

Another plan commission meeting on the development is scheduled for Sept. 1, and they hope to finalize a recommendation to the village board by the end of next month.

Village officials have argued that the project is beneficial to downtown Oak Park, as it would create jobs, bolster property and sales tax collections, and replace an aging public garage. But Oak Parker David Barsotti, who plans to cross-examine the developer during upcoming hearings, thinks the plan commission should vote no, and force Sertus to build without any zoning variances.

Reader Comments

3 Comments - Add Your Comment

Comment Policy

Jim Coughlin  

Posted: August 25th, 2011 1:01 AM

All that will be discussed is the parking shortage and buidling density. Jon Donahue is right. This is a done deal. Wish us luck.

john murtagh from oak park  

Posted: August 24th, 2011 10:36 PM

I am glad to hear Mr. Barsotti is going to attend the Plan Commission and will question the Sertus Team. Great to see knowledgeable people in action.

Jon Donohue  

Posted: August 24th, 2011 1:46 PM

There is no need for discussion except to give the appearance of vetting the project. Barsotti and others will make a case why this should not be approved, the PC will yell at some of the presenters, the PC will then pretend to discuss the proposal, and Sertus will smile knowing that the PC will once again approve their request. The PC will rubberstamp the change like they rubberstamped the original proposal.

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