At long last, details are emerging about the condo-retail combo planned for the corner of Lake and Lathrop. Members of the River Forest Development Review Board heard Nov. 16 from representatives of Sedgwick Properties, the lead developer, and urged its principals to make a stronger case for requested variances when they make a more formal application by Nov. 30.

Plans unveiled last week were vague but showed a “very traditional” styled, five-story, mixed-use development for the southwest corner of Lake Street and Lathrop Avenue. Eric Christman, development project manager of Sedgwick, said the high end condos would be marketed to those looking to downsize from full-size homes. 

The 36,700-square-foot building, intended to sit from 7601 to 7621 Lake Street,

will include up to 32 condos and an undisclosed number of “national retail clients,” Christman said. The first and second levels of the building will house retailers and 92 parking spaces. An undisclosed number of those parking spaces will be heated. Depending on market demand, the top three floors will house condos priced between $600,000 and $1.5 million, Christman said. He said the building would likely have a limestone exterior.

But other details — like, how increased pedestrian and vehicle traffic would be managed on already-crowded Lake Street; why Sedgwick is proposing a building that exceeds local height restrictions; and when environmental remediation of the site, spoiled by a former dry cleaners will take place — remain unaddressed.

“If you’re going to ask for site allowances, you have to give us something to justify recommending those, not just because you want to make as much money as possible,” said Frank Martin, board chairman.

Sedgwick must file a planned development application to the village by Nov. 30. The developer has missed deadlines to file this application at least three times. If Sedgwick misses this deadline, it could lose a $35,000 performance deposit bond with the village. 

As reported by Wednesday Journal, the village has pledged $1.9 million in tax increment financing funds to help with the development, principally for environmental remediation.

Sedgwick is owned by Marty Paris, a River Forest resident and the son of Frank Paris, a former River Forest village president. Keystone Ventures, the original preferred developer on the long-delayed project, remains a minority partner in the project. Keystone is owned by Tim Hague, also a River Forest resident. Keystone is expected to focus on commercial tenants. James Sotheby’s International Realty is providing market consultation.

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