Your Frequently Asked Questions About the Maple Street Lofts are Answered in this Latest FAQ
- How dense is the Maple Street Lofts proposal?
The redevelopment includes 313 dwelling units located on 6.5 acres, making the proposed density 48.15 dwelling units per acre. The proposal would be the fifth most-dense development in the downtown, behind Twenty West, Emerson, the Residences at Village Centre, and Ten North Main Street. It is most similar to the Clocktower development, which is built at 47 dwelling units per acre.
- What is the student impact projected to be for District 57 and District 214?
Student generation rates are based on the School Consulting Services’ 1996 study of the Chicago Metropolitan Area. The model predicts that the proposed development would generate 24.4 students when fully constructed 19 for District 57 and 5 for District 214). State statue requires the Village pay all applicable school districts an annual payment for any students living in TIF supported residential developments. The payment is equal to the average cost the district incurs to educate each pupil, therefore the school districts are made whole for the cost of educating any students generated by this project.
- Does the TIF provide financial assistance for students living in the TIF supported developments: Break down estimate by 214 and 57?
Yes, the Village is required to reimburse the impacted school districts for the actual cost of educating each student. Therefore the Village would be required to pay District 57 $10,883 per student per year and pay District 214 $20,674 per student per year for any student generated by the development. Assuming that the project generates 19 students for District 57, the Village would be required to pay the district $206,779. Similarly, the Village would be required to pay District 214 a total of $107,918 for the projected 5 students that would by generated by the development. The actual student impact would be verified by the school districts and the Village on an annual basis.
- What is the financial impact of the project on the TIF?
The development is projected to generate between $13.6 and $21.5 million in present value tax increment over the life of the TIF depending upon how many students are generated by the project. The Village would use these funds to cover the cost of the Parenti relocation ($3 million), the construction of the Maple Street Parking Deck ($6 million) and storm water improvements ($2.17 million) associated with this project. In addition, the Village would utilize the additional increment to make public improvements throughout the TIF district designed to improve pedestrian and vehicular traffic in the district.
- Won’t this project negatively impact traffic in the downtown?
The potential for increased area traffic is a chief concern among residents due in part to existing traffic issues. To study potential traffic impacts, the Petitioner hired Kenig, Lindgren, O’Hara, Aboona, Inc. (KLOA) to perform a full traffic analysis. The report finds that peak-time traffic congestion in the downtown area is primarily attributable to the at-grade rail crossings at IL Route 83 (Main Street) and Emerson Street which are regularly blocked by Metra commuter trains, not a shortage of network capacity. Furthermore, traffic congestion is exacerbated by traffic signal preemption of emergency vehicles departing the Mount Prospect Police and Fire Station and pedestrian push buttons that stop traffic in both directions when activated. The report makes several short and long-term recommendations for the Village to consider to improve traffic levels of service in the area.
Because traffic issues are created by non-vehicle related issues (train crossings, signal preemption of emergency vehicles, and pedestrian push button phasing), the capacity analysis indicates that the traffic estimated to be generated by the proposed development would have a minimal impact on the operations of adjacent intersections and existing levels of service. The report makes several area improvement recommendations including the following:
- Installation of directional pedestrian push buttons at signalized intersections, separated for each leg of the intersection
- Relocation of Mount Prospect Police and Fire Station to eliminate the signal interruption caused by emergency vehicles
- Coordination with Metra Train Engineers to adjust where trains stop along the tracks, allowing the gates to open in certain conditions
- Relocation of Permit Parking Spaces from the Maple Street Commuter Parking Lot to the Emerson Street Parking Deck
The Village is working toward achieving all of these proposed improvements in order to decrease unnecessary downtown traffic. Directional pedestrian push buttons will be installed in the near future, the Village is in the process of relocating Mount Prospect Police and Fire operations, Village staff has met with Metra staff in an effort to minimize train blockages, and the proposed redevelopment reduces the number of permit parking spaces south of the tracks by 63. As previously explained, the gross number of resident-only commuter spaces on the Subject Property would be reduced from the existing 285 to 222. However, the 63 first-come, first-serve commuter spots currently available to all commuters would be reserved for resident commuters, bringing the final number of resident commuter stalls to 285 south of the tracks, which is consistent with the current number of resident commuter spaces provided south of the tracks. 100 commuter spaces were recently opened in the Emerson Street Parking Deck, with 50 reserved for resident commuters. Allocating 50 spaces in the Emerson Street Parking Deck for resident commuters will further improve intersection performance as northern residents now no longer need to cross the train tracks twice each day.
The report by KLOA posits that the traffic projected to be generated will be reduced due to the proximity of the development to the Mount Prospect Metra Train Station, qualifying the development as a transit-oriented development (TOD). When carefully planned, TOD proposals have a significantly smaller impact on surrounding roadways than initially believed. These sites are near transit, allowing commuting or visiting to be done by train or bus, they are built in areas that are walkable or bikeable, and apartments included in TOD projects can have smaller household sizes than found in traditional single-family neighborhoods, due to the unit type (studio apartments versus a four-bedroom home). To that end, the Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE) has determined that suburban, mid-rise TOD generates an average of 3.44 vehicle trips per dwelling unit. Detached single-family residences generate an average of 10 vehicle trips per unit, almost three times as many on a per unit basis. Village engineers have reviewed the report by KLOA and agree with its findings.
In addition, all traffic associated with the former Parenti business operations and the multi-tenant industrial building (232 – 240 E. Lincoln Ave.) have or will be eliminated from the Subject Property, further mitigating the overall traffic generated by the site. The two properties had over 130 combined parking spaces and multiple truck daily deliveries during peak operations.
- What impact will the proposed Maple Street Lofts development have on flooding in the area?
The Maple Street Lofts development has been designed to improve the stormwater management of the area. Currently, nearly the entire area is paved, which means that stormwater falling on the site runs off; there is very little grass into which the water can infiltrate. This runoff flows generally southeast to Lincoln Street, where it eventually enters the combined sewer system through street inlets. The proposed Maple Street Lofts Development provides the following stormwater benefits:
- The Maple Street Lofts development creates new landscape area into which some of the stormwater can infiltrate, reducing the total amount of water running off into the receiving system.
- The Maple Street Lofts development includes underground chambers to store over half a million gallons of stormwater runoff. (For comparison, the Village’s water tower holds 1 million gallons of water.) These chambers allow for the stormwater runoff from the site to be safely stored while it is released into the receiving sewer system at a much slower rate than occurs under the existing conditions.
- In addition to the stormwater detention mentioned above, the Maple Street Lofts development provides over 85,000 gallons of “Volume Control”. Volume Control is additional storage that is designed to infiltrate into the ground providing both water quality benefits and additional storage volume.
- The runoff from the Maple Street Lofts development will be discharged through a new outlet, connecting to the storm sewer system in the Lions Park property. This removes the site’s stormwater runoff currently reaching the combined sewer system, and therefore reduces the possibility of sewage backing up into basements in the area during heavy storm events.
In summary, the Maple Street Lofts development will reduce the total amount of stormwater running off the site, reduce the rate at which it leaves the site, and redirects it from the combined sewer system to the separate storm sewer system.
7. Is resident commuter parking being reduced?
No. Resident reserved commuter parking will be increased as a result of this project. The current Maple Street commuter lot provides 285 resident reserved commuter parking stalls. The Village recently opened 100 parking stalls in the Emerson Street Parking Deck, 50 of which are reserved for residents. The redevelopment proposal includes 268 parking stalls to be created in the new Maple Street Parking Deck. Of the proposed 268 stalls, 222 would be reserved for resident commuters. Additionally, 63 on-street parking stalls on Prospect Avenue are to be changed from first-come, first-serve to be reserved for resident commuters. Between the 222 resident commuter stalls in the new Maple Street Parking Deck and the 63 new resident commuter stalls reserved on Prospect Avenue, 285 resident commuter stalls will again be provided south of the tracks. Adding 50 resident spaces in the Emerson Street Parking Deck increases the overall number of commuter parking spaces for Mount Prospect residents.
8. Is there a market demand for this many units?
The market study provided for the project shows the need for additional rental product in northwestern Cook County. No new apartment development took place in 1990s or early 2000s. It wasn’t until 60 units were constructed in Des Plaines in 2011 that any new rental product was added to the region. The study shows that the lack of newer product in the northwest Cook County submarket had been more a function of a lack of suitable development sites rather than submarket economics as the area was one of the first built out in the greater Chicago metropolitan statistical area. Homes for a Changing Region, a collaborative, forward-looking housing report sponsored in 2013 by the Metropolitan Mayors Caucus, the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP), and the Metropolitan Planning Council (MPC) discusses the need for additional rental product in the Village by 2040. Specifically, it shows a demand for more than 1,200 multi-family units and 350 townhomes in the Village by 2040.
9. Is the Village is giving free land to the developer?
No, the Village is selling the land to the developer for the same cost per square foot that the developer paid for the adjacent Parenti and Raffaeli property ($18 per square foot). The Village will also purchase land from the developer at that same price to acquire the land necessary for the construction of the proposed Maple Street Parking Deck. The Village will sell 83,100 square feet of the maple street commuter lot to the petitioner for $1.49 million and purchase 18,200 square feet of the former Parenti property from the developer for $328,000, netting the Village $1,162,000 overall for the property.
10. Why was no request for proposals (RFP) issued to redevelop the property?
The Village has utilized the RFP process on several downtown development projects to solicit development proposals on land that it had complete control over. In this case, Nicholas and Associates approached the Village with their initial development plan after they had purchased the Parenti properties back in 2017. Since Nicholas already owned the majority of the land that is part of the project and their proposal was consistent with the Village’s long-range planning goals for the property, the Village began direct negotiations with Nicholas.