New Lenox trustees are considering a new proposal for the multi-unit apartment complex known as Lincoln Station Apartments that had been shelved after the board in 2017 denied an extension for the special use permit for the development.
Trustees brought up familiar concerns about the density of the new proposal and impact on traffic at last week's village board meeting.
New Lenox Development Company — under new ownership – is proposing a five-building campus-style layout with a maximum of 220 units at the 16-acre property next to the Metra station at Route 30 and Prairie Road.
Two-thirds of the apartments are to be one-bedroom or studios and one-third will be two-bedrooms. The new plan also shows a clubhouse with a pool and other amenities.
The original proposal by NLDC caused controversy for almost a year with opposition from residents in 2015. This led to the developer reducing the number of proposed units from 312 to 208 before the village granted a special use request that August.
The special use request was valid for a year, during which time a final development plan had to be submitted. NLDC received two six-month extensions as it awaited approval permits from the Army Corps of Engineers. A motion for a third extension died on the floor at the board’s August 14, 2017, meeting because the developer by then had plans to sell the property and Mayor Tim Baldermann and trustees were not pleased with the lack of progress.
Trustee Dave Smith, at last week's meeting, said he thought “the density was too high” for the new proposal, saying it was “bad enough before but with the new Metra station and (businesses), it’s too much.”
Since the approval of the original Lincoln Station development in 2015, a CVS and a Starbucks have opened at the corner of Route 30 and Cedar Road. A Joey’s restaurant is expected to open in the spring.
Construction of the new Metra station is also expected to start this spring, said village Administrator Kurt Carroll.
Smith added that he didn’t want the village to end up spending millions to add a lane to Route 30 due to increased traffic. Trustee Jasen Howard agreed, saying traffic already backs up on Route 30 due to Metra commuters.
Baldermann said traffic during “peak times” was a concern for "substandard" Prairie Road, but the proposed development was the only feasible use for the property.