West Side Story
Ideas for Elmhurst's Addison Street corridor are unveiled.
Now that the parking garage at Larch and First streets is open for business, Elmhurst City Council Monday night heard about Phase 2 in the redevelopment of the central business district's west side.
The Thorne building at Addison Street and Schiller Court is the next target of a public-private partnership between the city and Addison LLC.
Brad Dannegger, with ARCO/Murray National Construction Co., outlined two ideas for the parcel. The first would include 20,500 square feet of retail space with 456 parking spaces above the stores. The second option would add 30,000 square feet of office space to the building. Dannegger told the council that if the building under the second option was allowed to reach 65 feet high, the city could gain up to 638 parking spaces.
"The core issue is: Do we want a taller building?" 3rd Ward Alderman Susan Rose said.
Dannegger told the council that 65 feet was equivalent to a five-story building. For comparison, City Manager Tom Borchert said single-family homes in the city were allowed to be built up to 35 feet high, and the new parking garage at Larch and First streets is 45 feet high.
Both the new parking garage and the current Thorne building are part of the city's central business district tax increment financing district,. A TIF district provides a way for cities to encourage private companies to develop underperforming properties by using future tax revenue increases to pay for the cost of development. The property's value at the beginning of the life of the TIF is frozen.
The city owns the land at Addison and Schiller, but if a new building is constructed, the city would only own the parking garage and Addison LLC would own the retail and/or office space.
Monday's presentation was the council's first look at the Addison and Schiller project. Dannegger estimated that, if approved, it would take two months to finalize the design, two to three months to get permits to build, and four to six months to obtain any needed variances.