The River Forest Development Review Board’s assessment of a proposed condominium project for the 1000 block of Bonnie Brae will wait for at least another month after board members agreed to postpone their deliberations as the developer works out additional changes.
The Development Review Board’s meeting on March 5 lasted just a few minutes, with board chairman Frank Martin explaining he’d spoken with John Schiess, the River-Forest based architect working on the project, who said he wanted more time to amend the site plan.
The plan is slated to come before the board again in April.
A Feb. 21 memo from Director of Public Words John Anderson to Assistant Village Administrator Lisa Scheiner outlined considerations the village felt needed to be addressed, based on a preliminary engineering plan submitted as part of the contractor’s application packet last November.
Anderson’s comments in the memo related to staging of construction equipment and materials and how it would relate to public right-of-way; snow removal concerns, specifically where snow will be stockpiled; issues regarding water and sewer infrastructure as they relate to the project; the location of water, sewer, gas, electric and communication utility lines; landscaping considerations; and determining a security amount to protect the recently installed permeable paver alley in the event that it is damaged during construction.
Another Feb. 21 memo from John Houseal, River Forest’s village planner, provided his review of the planned development, looking specifically at site planning, development and zoning aspects of the project.
Although Houseal’s memo indicated that while the overall plan was sound, there were a few items he thought needed consideration.
“The number and severity of the site development allowances indicate that consideration should be given to modifying the key components of the development to make it a better fit for the site, possibly including a reduction of the total number of units, increased setbacks, enhanced landscaping, better screening of the garages and rear facades of the buildings, and possibly amendments to the placement of buildings and guest parking as a result of few units,” said Houseal in his memo.
On Nov. 7, 2019 the DBR held a pre-filing meeting regarding the project, during which Schiess presented an updated plan for the development.
Schiess is working with Art Gurevich, vice president of Jenny Builders Inc. and owner of Bonnie Brae Construction LLC. Gurevich owns the properties at 1101-11 Bonnie Brae.
The project has been in the works since November 2016 when the village approved Gurevich’s original plan to build 15 condos at 1101-07 Bonnie Brae and to convert a six-unit apartment building at 1111 Bonnie Brae into a three-unit condominium. The high-end condos would have been priced at $850,000 to $1 million.
However, last November, Schiess and Gurevich discussed plans to submit a new application for the land, increasing the number of condos to 19 three-story units priced between $599,000 and $615,000.
Mariano Mollo, broker for Forest Park-based AvenueOne who is working with Schiess and Gurevich, said those listing prices are within the “sweet spot” for townhomes in the area right now.