Well, are we back to the ’80s all over again? Do we really have to go begging to get any business or developer to come to Oak Park? The proposal accepted by the village board for townhomes at the old District 97/Robinson Ribs site (“Robinson’s Ribs location could become 21 townhouses,” News, June 7) certainly sounds like it.
We had six proposals to choose from, and this is what we get? When I saw the renderings offered up by the Oak Park Development Corporation, I almost felt nauseous. Mundane, maybe mediocre, are all I can say about them. Haven’t we had enough of this kind of construction in Oak Park?
I want to say “thank you” to trustees Simone Boutet and Dan Moroney. They wanted more information regarding actual renderings for the site. They were concerned about the architectural quality of the proposal. Kudos.
But what about the other trustees? Where are they in safe-guarding the quality of our built community?
The proposed architectural firm, Pappageorge Haymes, is very capable of quality work. Unfortunately, they also have a reputation for giving the client whatever they want to maximize profits, regardless of architectural merit. There is nothing wrong with profit, and we want to fill that unused space, but not at the expense of our community.
With all of that, I never heard one word anywhere in the article about requiring green construction and design, enhancing our urban fabric, some green space or having pedestrian-friendly streetscaping.
Oak Park is desirable now. There were six proposals. When will we start requiring quality building that adds to the quality of life in our village? Mediocre developments suck the life out of a community in the long run.
Thankfully, the village is hiring an architectural consultant from a reputable firm to evaluate the proposal. I hope he focuses on all aspects of the development. We don’t need to settle for somewhat pleasant architecture, with no affordable housing, which doesn’t enhance our community.
Please, can we step back, evaluate thoroughly and have requirements of the developer that really add to our urban fabric?