Alderman approved the sale of the city’s 79-space parking lot between Graceland Avenue and Lee Street, just southwest of Ellinwood Avenue, for $880,000. The parking lot is at the center of an approximately 2-acre property where real estate firms Bayview USA Holdings and Barrington-based Compasspoint Development want to build a 212-unit apartment building with about 10,000 square feet of space intended for restaurants.
Under the agreement, the developers will lease 79 spaces of a 409-space parking garage back to the city for free. The city will pay the developer $8,500 annually for maintenance, cleaning and utility costs associated with the parking spaces.
Two weeks ago, the development met opposition from some residents and business owners concerned about traffic congestion. Others supported the project as a way to reinvigorate the downtown area. In a vote separate from the parking lot sale, the city council Monday gave final approval for the project to proceed.
Alderman Dick Sayad remained opposed, citing concerns about traffic, parking and that the development includes apartments, not condominiums.
“To have people who are in condos would give us better (stability) of people living here because people are going to rent an apartment for a year or two and then go,” Sayad said.
Alderman Denise Rodd disagreed.
“I think that the public should know that the city doesn’t choose whether it’s going to be rental, whether it’s going to be condo, whether it’s going to be single-family,” Rodd said. “The developer chooses that with insight from the market, and right now, rental — especially rental with amenities — is where it’s at.”
The development will have numerous amenities, including a pool, dog spa and dog run, yoga and cycling studios, and a gym.