A Chicago real estate developer has agreed to tentative terms to buy a Green Bay Road property from the Village of Wilmette for $4 million, with plans to build a new six-story mixed-use development, village officials announced Tuesday.
At Tuesday night’s Village Board meeting, Wilmette Village President Christopher Canning said that the Village had reached a tentative agreement with Chicago real-estate developer Lexington Homes, LLC, on terms surrounding the sale of 611 Green Bay Rd.
Canning said Lexington’s current proposal include plans for five stories of luxury apartments above more than 7,000 square feet of “highly desirable commercial space”.
“This project is an exact fit with the Village Center Master Plan that our residents helped develop,” Canning said Tuesday. “It brings high quality residential and retail occupancies close to mass transit… and the sale allows the village to recover all its cost for the property, while simultaneously ensuring its redevelopment.”
The village purchased the one-acre parcel, which formerly housed a Ford dealership, in the spring of 2011 for $3.675 million. At the time, Village Board members said they viewed the property as a crucial piece to revitalizing the village center, saw the purchase as a first step in the then-recently-adopted master plan and wanted the property to be turned into a multi-purpose space.
During the February 2011 vote to buy the property, Trustee Mike Basil said he was disappointed with the village’s purchase, saying the village was spending money to fix a problem it had helped to create when it denied the previous property owner a special-use grant to build a CVS with a drive-through window, sparking a 2009 lawsuit. Basil nonetheless voted to approve the purchase.
The public will have several opportunities during the redevelopment process to view proposals and comment on Lexington Homes's plans.
The first such meeting will take place Wednesday, when the Village Board will hold a special meeting to discuss and approve the contract for the sale of the Green Bay Road property. After a contract is approved, Lexington Homes will begin to submit formal plans for the site.
Future public meetings will take place in front of the village’s appearance review commission and the zoning board of appeals, and final approval will come from the Village Board.
Wednesday’s meeting will take place in the council chambers of Wilmette’s Village Hall, 1200 Wilmette Ave., at 7 p.m.