Business council favors Whiteco, though not its overlong process

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The Business and Civic Council announced Monday that it favors Whiteco's mixed-use development, but has concerns about the "protracted" process that has surrounding the controversial project for years.

In a press statement, the group said the project will "pump new vitality" into downtown and the 200 luxury apartments included in the development will "fill a critical gap in the community's housing stock."

Whiteco has gone two rounds of plan commission hearings, for a total of over 70 hours. That lengthy process, the council argued, has "undermined public confidence" in the village's development efforts, and may have discouraged developers from coming to Oak Park.

The group also said the Trader Joe's included in the project will make downtown a destination shopping area. Tenants would likely not have children, and would frequently shop and dine at local businesses.

Residents who opposed the development have been critical of village plans to subsidize the project with roughly $8 million. The council, however, said the subsidy was "appropriate given the economic and social benefits that Whiteco would bring."
?#34;Katharine Grayson

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