Redevelopment on Van Buren moves forward

New townhouses in the works

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By Thomas Vogel

Staff Reporter

The Forest Park Village Council unanimously approved a planned redevelopment agreement at its July 24 meeting for 17 new three-story townhouses along Van Buren Street, just east of The Altenheim retirement home and Concordia Cemetery. 

The council also approved an ordinance amending the village's zoning map, a conditional-use approval for the planned units and a final plat subdivision. The zoning change reclassifies the site from an industrial to a residential property. 

"The current land use is dated, obsolete and not competitive to newly constructed industrial spaces," wrote Ian Tobin, of Houseal Lavigne Associates, which conducted a review of the proposed plan, in a January memo to the Forest Park Plan Commission. 

As the approved ordinance notes, the 1.3 acre property, 7771-7795 Van Buren St., is currently three industrial sites "in various status of disrepair."

The site owners, Forest Park Townhomes LLC, is controlled by Bart Przyjemski, of Chicago. Przyjemski is listed as a partner at Chicago-based Noah Properties. 

According to documents attached to the July 24 council agenda, the townhouses will each be around 2,500 square feet and each will have a two-car garage. As the January memo notes, the facades of each townhouse will vary, "which helps prevent any monotony in the streetscape."

Although the village's Comprehensive Plan designates the site as "parks and open space," the January memo notes "since the plan was adopted however, market realities have improved, making larger attached single-family developments viable." 

The development fulfills other Comprehensive Plan goals, including "denser development" near public transit. The site is near the CTA Blue Line station and other residences, including The Grove. 

The village's Plan Commission gave the go-head for the conditional-use approval at its July 6 meeting.  

Przyjemski did not respond to a request for comment by press time.

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Reader Comments

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Mary Dirks from Forest Park  

Posted: July 25th, 2017 8:14 PM

After seeing several huge, overpriced, highrise apartment buildings go up in Oak Park, and how it has completely changed the look and feel of the village (and not in a good way), I'd much rather see the development of new, single family townhomes here in Forest Park. They also offer a nice alternative for someone who doesn't want a condo but doesn't need or want (or can't afford) a bigger home and all the maintenance involved.

Jerry Webster  

Posted: July 25th, 2017 6:44 PM

Seeing how well the last devolopment did over there I am sure this is what the village needs, more town homes.

Pam Fontana  

Posted: July 25th, 2017 4:37 PM

"the facades of each townhouse will vary, ".....the photos attached to the article don't look varied at all. Yes, just what FP needs; more townhomes :(

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