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Two developers competing to reinvent a key piece of downtown Oak Park property have revamped their ideas for the site.


These revisions come two months after the village board and various volunteer commissions criticized the earlier proposals for their uninspired architecture and dependence on local subsidies.


Oak Brook-based Mid-America Development Partners turned in its revised proposal last month. It includes the same number of

apartments (182)
, hotel rooms (120), and amount of retail space (47,000 square feet). However, the developer has increased the number of parking spaces by 80 to 500.


Mid-America also completely changed its architecture, while keeping the content of the buildings the same.


“We listened very carefully to what all these groups stated about our project and we took their suggestions to heart and revamped the architecture,” said John Melaniphy, III, vice president of Mid-America.


Earlier this year, Mid-America said it would take about $41 million in incentives from the village to make its proposal work. The other team, AvalonBay Communities, Inc., said it would need about $27.5 million for the same reason.


Those amounts have decreased in both proposals and are now closer to being equal, said Bob Clements, the village’s acting director of development services. He declined to say by how much the two developers have reduced their requests for local funding.


“I think there’s been a significant improvement presented [in terms of financial requests],” Clements said.


AvalonBay, based in
Virginia, has kept its architecture the same in its proposal, which was submitted to the village last week. Its major change is a reduction in the number of apartments from 263 down to 196, thus decreasing its height and cost.


They’ve also included the possibility of having one retailer occupy the entire 37,000 square foot space.


Members of AvalonBay’s team could not be reached for comment Thursday afternoon.


The village-owned properties include the Colt building, just east of
Harlem, the adjacent

1121-23 Lake St.
building, a
North Boulevard
parking lot and 1145 Westgate.


Clements said the village board hopes to pick a developer by the end of July, before its August recess.


For complete coverage, please see the June 18 issue of the Wednesday Journal

CONTACT: mstempniak@wjinc.com

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