by: Robert Brunswick, Co-Founder and CEO, Buchanan Street Partners
Apartments have been the darling of real estate capital markets for the past seven-eight years. This deep into an outstanding run, some investors have begun to worry if the clock is approaching midnight for Cinderella. However, an examination of underlying demand dynamics suggests that the U.S. will require an extraordinary number of rental units over the next five to 10 years, even beyond. If supply remains in check, the following long-term lifestyle and demographic trends should allow apartments to remain the belle of the ball for some time to come:
“Renter nation” trend
Over the past decade, the U.S. has added nearly 10 million renters, the largest 10-year gain on record, as home ownership fell to a near-record low of 64 percent in 2018. The number of occupied apartment units rose by 20 percent over that same period. Over the next decade, the U.S. is projected to add another 10 million households, many of which will be rental households for the reasons explored below.
Population growth in key rental cohort
This year is projected to be the year in which the millennial generation (persons aged 23 to 37 years in 2019) surpasses the baby boomers as the largest living generation. This generation roughly coincides with the age cohort (20-34) which accounts for the largest share of home rentals. Nearly 30 percent of people in this age group were renters in 2018. This population of prime renters is expected to grow from 68 million today to nearly 70 million when its growth peaks in 2024.
The U.S. Census Bureau projects that the nation’s population will reach 404 million in 2060, reflecting an increase of 79 million from 2017. Of this number, a whopping 75 million are projected to result from net immigration. Without these immigrants, the Census Bureau projects the U.S. population to grow by less than 4 million. The racial and ethnic groups that make up the largest share of immigrant populations have significantly lower home ownership rates than non-Hispanic whites.
Delays in household formations; other lifestyle changes
Millennials and their recent predecessors have been getting married later and delaying children in favor of careers and improved financial security. Single people are much more likely to rent apartments than married persons, and the same goes for the childless vs. parents. Over the past decade, the single population has risen by 15 million, with 2014 marking the first year in our nation’s history when unmarried adults began outnumbering the wedded. At the same time, despite a decline in the overall divorce rate, “gray divorces” are on the rise. Among U.S. adults ages 50 and older, the divorce rate has roughly doubled since the 1990s. Unlike younger persons who divorce, older divorcees are less likely to house children and, thus, are more likely to rent apartments. In fact, many of these divorces are precipitated by children leaving the nest.
Housing affordability complicated by student loan debt
The struggle to make ends meet for many millennials—part of the first generation which is forecast to see its real wages fail to exceed those of their parents—has a profound impact on housing choice. Many are unable to amass the down payment necessary to purchase a home, particularly when saddled with large student loans. Nationwide, student loan debt outstanding has tripled over just the past 12 years from about $500 billion in 2006 to $1.5 trillion in the third quarter of 2018. Today, the prototypical millennial has a negative net worth and, partly as a result, first-time buyers now represent only 30 percent of all home purchases, down from the long-term average of 39 percent. Naturally, this is good news for multifamily landlords, at least once the millennials leave their parents’ house.
Demographic trends such as these move like ships. They are inexorable in the medium term and turn slowly. Thus, while an increasing unit supply may impact pricing in the short run, the long-term demand picture should keep wind in the sails of apartment investments for some time to come.
Robert Brunswick is co-founder and CEO of Buchanan Street Partners, a real estate investment management firm based in Newport Beach, Calif. - read the original article here.
JUNE 14, 2019
TAMPA, FL - Wingspan Development Group and ABC Capital Corp. are excited to announce the recently approved Jade at North Hyde Park, a dynamic new mixed-use development located in the heart of Tampa, FL. Throughout the development process, Wingspan and ABC Capital have worked closely to create something unique in the North Hyde Park neighborhood.
Jade at North Hyde Park is a five-story wrap style mixed-use project with 192 luxury apartment units and 3,100 square feet of retail space with 850 square feet of outdoor covered seating area fronting Willow Ave and Cass Street. The property is conveniently located within minutes to the Riverwalk and Downtown Tampa and is just blocks to the University of Tampa. Jason Macklin, Wingspan Development Group’s Director of Development, saw the potential of the location immediately. “We really like the Tampa market and are excited to be a part of the City’s continued growth. Jade at North Hyde Park will be a great addition to Tampa for a number of reasons; not only will the residential aspect of the project be top notch, but the retail component of the property will be a nice addition to the North Hyde Park community and a great amenity for the residents.” Other property amenities will include a 24-hour fitness center, a resort-style swimming pool, a gathering lounge, and a cyber cafe with a conference room.
Wingspan Development Group delivers quality projects across multiple real estate segments; residential, commercial and land development. In addition to Jade at North Hyde Park, Wingspan has several other active projects in the central Florida market. The firm’s core team has over 80 years of real estate and construction experience combined with an unparalleled commitment to detail and execution. By blending broad capabilities and a nimble organization, Wingspan capitalizes on diverse market opportunities to create value for clients and stakeholders. Wingspan has offices in Mount Prospect, IL and Milwaukee, WI.
For more information, contact Christopher Coleman at 847.394.6200 or info@WingspanDev.com
by: Kevin McQuaid | Commercial Real Estate Editor, BusinessObserverFL
Demand for new space has surged, prompting many developers to respond to the need.
Tampa’s office market hit an inflection point roughly three years ago.
After years of relative stagnation brought about by last decade’s searing economic recession, white-collar employment growth had begun to surge, pushing the need for office space upward and vacancy down to single digits.
At least part of the push came from an economic transformation involving tech companies and away from the budget-conscious, back-office and call center operations that had dominated rent rolls in previous decades.
Rental rates, meanwhile, which for Class A space have traditionally hovered around — but rarely exceeded — $30 per square foot began climbing, too, though not at a corresponding pace.
The combination meant that it was financially feasible, at least mathematically, for Tampa to construct its first largely speculative, ground-up office building in nearly a decade in the suburban Westshore business district near Tampa International Airport.
Downtown, the drought has been even longer — more than a quarter of a century.
In response, nearly a dozen qualified developers have stepped up with viable plans to construct new office space in Westshore, downtown and the surrounding area.
Taken together, the plans call for more than 1.7 million square feet of new office space to be built — more than the 42-story skyscraper at 100 N. Tampa St. and the 38-story Tampa City Center tower combined.
The offerings are as diffuse as Tampa itself.
In downtown, Strategic Property Partners — a joint venture between Tampa Bay Lightning owner Jeff Vinik and Bill Gates’ Cascade Investment LLC — has proposed about 625,000 square feet of new offices in a pair of buildings in the first phase of its $3 billion Water Street Tampa development, which is transforming 53 acres around Amalie Arena and the Tampa Convention Center.
Also downtown, SoHo Capital and Atlanta-based TPA Group have teamed to develop more than 300,000 square feet of office space in the 45-acre Heights mixed-use project, joining the Armature Works retail and co-working project and the 314-unit Pearl Apartments.
The duo’s seven-story Heights Union project was roughly halfway committed even prior to its official groundbreaking last month, to co-working giant WeWork, AxoGen Inc. and contractor DPR Construction.
Adam Harden, a SoHo Capital partner, says he expects the project to be fully leased prior to completion, based on current momentum and interest.
“The tenants that are already in place here prove there’s a need in the market,” says Harden.
In the Westshore area, a trio of new projects have been announced.
Tampa-based Zons Development is planning a 13-story, mixed-use development on land it has owned for more than four years on East Frontage Road. In addition to four floors of office space, the company’s Skyview Plaza will also contain a 138-room Cambria Hotel, retail and restaurant space and parking.
The Hillsborough County Aviation Authority’s proposed Skyview Center, meanwhile, a nine-story office development on the ground of and connected to the Tampa International Airport, will bring 158,000 square feet of office space to market.
Rounding out the three, Cousins Properties’ planned Corporate Center at International Plaza V is designed as a six-story office property adjacent to the developer’s other Westshore holdings.
Elsewhere, Bromley Cos. plans to begin work this summer on a seven-story office project that will be part of the company’s 22-acre Midtown Tampa development between downtown and Westshore.
And in North Tampa, Vision Properties of New Jersey has plans for a six-story office building that will become part of its 71-acre Renaissance Center complex.
Each new project is buoyed by the experience leasing the limited amount of new supply that has come online in the area since 2015.
Vision Properties, for instance, began work on a 150,000-square-foot office project within Renaissance Center on a speculative basis early in 2018, only to have the entire building leased to AAA — The Auto Club Group prior to construction ending.
In Westshore, Metropolitan Life Insurance also broke ground in early 2018 on a new 250,000-square-foot office building in its 32-acre MetWest International business park.
Though the 10-story MetWest III had leased some 150,000 square feet to PricewaterhouseCoopers prior to cracking dirt, the consulting firm eventually expanded to lease the entire building.
Higher rental rates haven’t hurt developers, either. Each of the new suburban projects is commanding rental rates in the $40s per square foot, as is Heights Union. Water Street Tampa’s asking rates for its planned office towers, however, are projected to be even farther above the traditional market, in the mid-$50 per square foot range.
Commercial real estate brokerage firm Holliday Fenoglio Fowler L.P., in marketing materials to sell the 42-story 100 N. Tampa St. skyscraper in downtown, say Strategic Property Partners’ new offerings could command rates of $59 per square foot, a rate more typical of urban area of Fort Lauderdale, Miami, Nashville, Charlotte, N.C., or Austin, Texas.
Westshore rents in the first quarter of this year rose to their highest level ever, at $33.59 per square foot, a 6.5% gain year-over-year, according to commercial real estate broker Cushman & Wakefield.
Of course, few of the proposed projects are currently yet under construction, leaving developers proverbial wiggle room to shelve projects if conditions change. To date, only Heights Union, SPP’s loft-style Sparkman Wharf and MetWest III are under construction, though at roughly 730,000 square feet, new office development now stands at its highest level since the third quarter of 2008, Cushman & Wakefield notes.
Each also has lined up tenants, though Sparkman Wharf to date has just a lone commitment of 9,500 square feet to accounting firm RSM US LLP.
Much of the construction is offset, of course, by the more than 469,000 square feet of new leasing activity that occurred in Tampa in the initial three months of the year.
“There’s been a lot of pent-up demand in the Tampa market,” says Claire Calzon, an executive managing director of office services in Tampa for Colliers International Tampa Bay.
“There’s been a lot of pent-up demand in the Tampa market." — Claire Calzon, executive managing director of office services, Colliers International Tampa Bay.
“Vision (Properties) was very successful because of that pent-up demand, and others will be, too. The question now is how much is too much new product?”
SoHo Capital’s Harden says he isn’t worried about the plethora of new projects.
“I’m not concerned about the competition here,” he says. “We’re creating a walkable, viable area that will different than anywhere else. Water Street (Tampa) isn’t my competition, either. They’re an ally. Charlotte, Austin, Fort Lauderdale — that’s our competition.
“But we’re putting in a higher effort here, and I think tenants can discern that quality, and we’re taking the long view at the Heights,” Harden adds.
Calzon says she isn’t overly concerned about the number of projects, the collective square footage being proposed, nor the overall lack of leasing activity to date in Tampa, either.
“Tampa has historically never been much of a pre-leasing market,” she says. “Developers have had to come out of the ground first before they get real traction and attention, and I think that’s the case now, too.”
But she cautions that if all of the projects proposed reach fruition, Tampa could see the kind of office glut that plagued the city throughout the late 1980s and caused rental rates and occupancy to plummet.
“Can all the new space be absorbed readily? No,” she says. “But if people and business continue flocking to Florida as they have the past several years, significant absorption will occur.”
Still, many of the proposed projects are slated to come online simultaneously, if they come out of the ground at all.
The SoHo Capital/TPA joint venture is expected to deliver its new building next year, as is Cousins’ Corporate Center V project.
In 2021, Skyview Plaza, Skyview Center, Midtown One at Midtown Plaza and 1001 Water St., in Water Street Tampa, are anticipated to debut.
And if business activity continues unabated and the 1.7 million square feet are absorbed in a timely manner?
Not to worry.
SoHo Capital, Zons Development, Strategic Property Partners, Bromley Cos. and Vision Properties already have plans on their collective drawing boards for an additional 1.7 million square feet of new office space in subsequent phases of their projects.
Article originally posted to Business Observer FL
Tom Daykin, Milwaukee Journal SentinelPublished 12:30 p.m. CT April 24, 2019 | Updated 5:44 p.m. CT April 24, 2019
Hub13, a 300-unit upscale apartment development, is among two neighboring projects that have been endorsed by the Oak Creek Plan Commission.
A large Oak Creek apartment development and a neighboring commercial project that could include a small hospital have received Plan Commission approval.
The commission, at its Tuesday night meeting, recommended Common Council approval of Hub13, which would have 300 upscale apartments on 33.6 acres at 7581 S. 13th St.
Also, the commission recommended approval for Highgate, a 27-acre commercial development at 7705-7869 S. 13th St.
Both Hub13 and Highgate would be east of I-94 and north of West Drexel Avenue.
Hub13 is being proposed by Wingspan Development Group LLC, based in Mt. Prospect, Illinois.
Wingspan wants to build six three-story buildings, each with 40 units, as well as three two-story buildings, each with 20 units.
Construction would likely begin by September if the $57 million project receives approvals. Wingspan expects to complete Hub13 within 18 months.
Highgate is being proposed by Brookfield-based Somerstone LLC.
Somerstone's conceptual plans call for seven buildings, totaling aroun
d 146,600 square feet.
Highgate would have a market value of $35 million to $45 million when completed, according to plans filed with the city.
The uses at Highgate include stores, a restaurant and a Summit Credit Union branch location.
There also would be an 18,500-square-foot "neighborhood hospital," according to the plans.
It would be operated by Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin health network, and would feature an emergency department and eight inpatient beds.
Tom Daykin can be emailed at email@example.com and followed on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.
MOUNT PROSPECT, IL, UNITED STATES, April 15, 2019 /EINPresswire.com/ -- Mount Prospect, IL – Wingspan Development Group’s Buckingham Place recorded one of the highest volumes of new home sales in the Chicago suburbs. Tracy Cross & Associates, a nationally recognized real estate research consultant and market research firm, reported that 2018 saw improving new home sales in the greater Chicago metropolitan area. In the report, they discuss a modest increase in overall sales with stronger growth in the suburbs. Builders in suburban areas saw a 7.4% increase in sales recorded from 2017 (3,423) to 2018 (3,677).
As far as specific developments, Buckingham Place came in fifth place with total sales of 58. This strong performance helped vault Des Plaines into the top five municipalities with 130 new home sales. Tracy Cross attributed the jump to the addition of Buckingham Place and two other active developments. To read the full Tracy Cross report, follow the link here.
“We’re pleased but not surprised by the success at Buckingham Place. It’s a great location and community and we picked a solid builder partner in Ryan Homes.” said Chris Coleman, VP of Development for Wingspan. “Des Plaines is rapidly becoming a place that people want to move to and live in. Buckingham Place’s proximity to downtown Des Plaines, the Cumberland Metra station, O’Hare and Rosemont make it an excellent location, while the additional amenities we’ve included on site add to the quality of the community.”
Buckingham Place is a 21 acre development on Northwest Highway which Wingspan rezoned and redeveloped for 127 rowhomes and 267 luxury apartments. Ryan Homes was selected as the builder for the rowhomes. Ryan is the marketing brand of NVR, Inc. (NYSE: NVR) one of America’s leading homebuilders. The company serves homebuyers in 32 metropolitan areas in fourteen states.
Wingspan Development Group delivers the highest quality projects across multiple real estate segments; residential, commercial, mixed use and land development. The firm’s core team has over 80 years of real estate and construction experience combined with an unparalleled commitment to detail and execution. By blending broad capabilities and a nimble organization, Wingspan capitalizes on diverse market opportunities to create value for clients and stakeholders.
Wingspan has offices in Mount Prospect, IL and Milwaukee, WI. For more information, call 847.394.6200 or e-mail info@WingspanDevelopmentGroup.com.
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Oak Creek’s apartment boom continues with a new proposal for 300 units across Interstate 94 from the Ikea store with rents starting at $1,050 a month.
The latest proposal is by Wingspan Development Group LLC of Mount Prospect, Illinois. In its mid-March application to the city of Oak Creek, the company expects to build all 300 apartments in a single phase, completing them by early 2021.
The apartments would be built between I-94 and South 13th Street on a site near West Drexel Avenue. The apartments would stand near land where Brookfield developer Somerstone LLC plans to build a shopping center.
In a website for the project, Wingspan notes the site’s proximity to new job centers, including the new fulfillment center under construction for Amazon.com at South 13th and Ryan Road, downtown Milwaukee and Foxconn Technology Group’s Mount Pleasant campus.
The apartments would be built between Interstate 94 (center) and South 13th Street (at right). The Oak Creek Ikea store remains under construction at left in this archive photo from December 2017.
Oak Creek in recent years has contributed to the local boom in new apartment construction. Hundreds of units have been built at Drexel Town Square at Drexel and Howell avenues, with 240 more units recently approved there. Two projects with a combined 520 units have been proposed west of I-94 near Drexel Avenue.
Wingspan Development’s site plan covers 20 acres, with a neighboring 10-acre wetland area remaining untouched. It includes six buildings standing three stories tall with underground parking. Also planned are three smaller buildings standing two stories tall with apartments generally larger than those in the other buildings.
About half of the apartments would be studio or one-bedroom units. Almost 40% would have two bedrooms, with about 30 three-bedroom units rounding out the mix. Rents would range from $1,050 to $2,500 a month.
Amenities would include a shared clubhouse with an outdoor pool, fitness center, pet spa and bike shop.
Developer proposes 300 apartments at Oak Creek site in the latest in series of similar projects in the city
A 300-unit upscale apartment development is being proposed in Oak Creek — the latest in a series of larger such projects in that community.
Wingspan Development Group LLC is proposing the $57 million development, known as Hub13, for 33.6 acres at 7581 S. 13th St., according to information filed with the city Plan Commission.
That site is just east of I-94, and north of West Drexel Avenue.
The commission at its Tuesday meeting is to review Wingspan's request to rezone that vacant site from office and professional business to multi-family residential.
Construction would likely begin by September if the project receives approvals. Wingspan, based in Mt. Prospect, Illinois, expects to complete Hub13 within 18 months.
Wingspan wants to build six three-story buildings, each with 40 units, as well as three two-story buildings, each with 20 units.
The monthly rents would range from $1,050 to $2,500.
Each three-story building would have underground parking, while the two-story buildings would have surface parking lots.
Of the 300 total apartments, approximately 10% would be studios, 42% would be one-bedroom units, 38% would be two-bedroom units and 10% would be three-bedroom units, according to the commission report.
Hub13 would feature a 6,500-square-foot clubhouse with a leasing office and in-ground swimming pool near the entrance on South 13th Street.
Other amenities would include fire pits, grilling areas, walking paths, a zen garden and a fenced dog run. Hub13 also would connect to a planned retail development to the south.
The apartment project site includes 10.6 acres of wetlands, of which 10.2 acres would be preserved, the report said.
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Hub13 would join other new larger apartment projects in Oak Creek.
They include the 285-unit Drexel Ridge, which is finishing its last phase at 7721 S. Pennsylvania Ave., and the 225-unit Orchard Hills, which is starting construction at 8300 S. 27th St.
Also, three separate apartment buildings total over 300 units at the Drexel Town Square mixed-use project, at Drexel and Howell avenues.
Tom Daykin can be emailed at firstname.lastname@example.org and followed on Instagram, Twitterand Facebook.
By Caroline Freer | on April 03, 2019
The controversial Maple Street Lofts (MSL) development could get approval at tonight’s (April 3) Mount Prospect Village Board meeting.
The Mount Prospect Planning & Zoning Commission has sent the proposal to the board with a positive recommendation vote of 5-2.
Residents who live in the immediate vicinity of the planned unit development (PUD) have worked hard to have their objections heard since the plan was introduced last September.
Efforts have included attending Village Board, and Planning & Zoning Commission meetings; emailing and calling trustees, the mayor, and village staff; creating a group called Citizens for Responsible Growth in Mount Prospect (CRGMP); alerting neighbors through flyers, newsletters, a website with an online petition against MSL, and lawn signs.
Objections range from the height of the apartment buildings, zoning amendments, classroom overcrowding, traffic congestion, and more.
Located at Prospect Avenue and Maple Street the property, formerly the Parenti & Raffaelli site, is now owned by Nicholas & Associates (N&A).
In partnership with Wingspan Development, N&A is looking to develop the six-acre parcel into a mixed-use commercial and residential complex which will encompass the village-owned Maple Street commuter parking lot.
During the course of expressing concerns to the board, residents have emphasized they are not against developing the site, but feel the overall size of the project and height of the buildings is excessive.
“It can’t go more than four stories to stay consistent with the character of the neighborhood,” said CRGMP organizer Stephanie Kenny.
The original plans included two apartment buildings, seven and eight stories in height respectively, 66 rowhomes and a three-story parking deck.
In response to resident concerns the developers have reduced the eight-story building to six-stories and the number of row houses to 56.
Asked for her thoughts on the changes Kenny remains unconvinced. “The people in the neighborhood, who moved here, like the low-profile,” she said, “The were attracted to the family-feel of the neighborhood.”
Director of Community Development for Mount Prospect, Bill Cooney, told Planning & Zoning Commissioners, at the March 14 meeting, that neither school district 57 nor 214 had voiced a concern about the approximately 24 additional students MSL will generate.
Kenny said she thinks the projected student increase is being under-reported, citing school enrollment documents, “Two to three bedroom townhouses in the area are showing twice as many students,” said Kenny.
Cooney also said the current parking agreement with the existing townhomes on Maple Street will be maintained and applied to the parking deck.
Pat Ferrier, Fort Collins Coloradoan
Published 11:56 a.m. MT March 20, 2019 | Updated 8:33 a.m. MT March 21, 2019
Fort Collins developer JD Padilla has submitted preliminary plans for nearly 250 new homes to be built on South Timberline Road.
The vacant agriculture land, part of the Rennat property, would be subdivided into 246 lots for single-family home lots as well as two-family units, according to preliminary plans filed with the city of Fort Collins.
Padilla is scheduled to meet with city planning officials Wednesday, March 27, for a preliminary design review. He did not return phone calls seeking comment.
The 57-acre triangular parcel owned by the Harry O. Rennat Trust and Ingrid M. Rennat Family Trust, has small frontage along Timberline Road across from Bacon Elementary and Zephyr Road in southeast Fort Collins. It is just south of the Hansen property slated for development and just north of the Crowne at Timberline apartments.
Access to the property would be served by a public street connection from the Hansen property and an extension of Zephyr Road and Rosen Drive to the south and east, according to plans.
The site is adjacent to two other residential projects working their way through the city's planning and development review process.
Wingspan Development Group, with offices in Illinois and Wisconsin, has proposed 240 apartments on 10 acres of the Hansen Farm northwest of the intersection of Timberline and Zephyr roads. It is adjacent to 55 acres the Landhuis Co. plans to develop into 184 single-family detached and attached homes on 55 acres of the Hansen Farm.
The opportunity exists on the Rennat project to coordinate the extension of Zephyr Drive and other street connections to Hansen Farm and south to the Linden Park neighborhood, a future neighborhood park, off-street trail network and the initial phase of a commercial center, Senior Planner Pete Wray said.
This Rennat property is among a handful of sites Padilla is developing throughout Fort Collins. Construction is in full swing on The Wyatt, 366 apartments on the southwest corner of Harmony and Strauss Cabin roads. He owns the property just east of The Wyatt at Harmony and I-25 on which he is planning a mixed-use project, and he is also planning Morning Star, a senior-living complex in Old Town Fort Collins at North College Avenue and Cherry Street.
Pat Ferrier is a senior reporter covering business, health care and growth issues in Northern Colorado. Please support her work and that of other Coloradoan journalists by subscribing: See Coloradoan.com/subscribe to learn how.
Mount Prospect's Maple Street Lofts development cleared a major hurdle Thursday when the village's planning and zoning commission, by a 5-2 vote, recommended the plan, despite objections raised by concerned neighbors, including building height, traffic and school impact.
The matter now moves to the village board for approval April 3.
Revising plans that originally included an eight-story building, the developer, Nicholas and Associates, offered a plan that includes a six-story, mixed-use building with 192 apartments and more than 14,000 square feet of retail space, and a seven-story building with 65 apartments and 56 row homes. The project would be in the 300 block of South Maple Street, the 200 block of East Prospect Avenue and the 200 block of East Lincoln Street. The same developer is building the 20 West apartments on the other side of the railroad tracks.
The project involves $110 million in private investment and use of around $11 million in tax increment financing funds, including $6 million for a new parking deck. It would be located on the former site of wood product manufacturer Parenti and Raffaelli Ltd., which relocated to the Kensington Business Center with the assistance of $3 million in TIF funds.
TIF funds are property tax revenue generated by new development that is diverted from other governments, such as schools, to help pay for expenses related to the new development.
During the 4½ hour meeting, attended by around 100 people, commissioners were split between those seeing the need for greater density in the downtown to benefit business and those concerned about issues raised by the neighbors.
Among the former was Augie Filippone, who is also running for a spot on the Mount Prospect Village Board in April.
"For me, this project needs to go forward," he said. "We need to look at what we're doing. Are we committed to Mount Prospect's future?"
He also stood up for Nicholas and Associates, a Mount Prospect firm, after hearing the public's comments.
"I haven't seen anyone else step up. They're the only ones that have come up to take the risk. And if we're treating a hometown business like this, that has put so much into our community, I can only imagine what outside developers are thinking," he said.
Members of a residents group, Citizens for Responsible Growth in Mount Prospect, spoke against the proposal.
"All the streets around that development, all the way down to Lincoln, those are residential streets," Stan Kaniecki said. "What's happening here is an expansion of the core business central area of Mount Prospect north of the tracks to what arguably is a residential area. You're bringing high density (and) two high buildings into a residential area that can't handle the traffic."
Their arguments resonated with two of the commission members, Sharon Otteman and William Beattie, who cast no votes.
Otteman praised the project but said, "I don't think that all of the research has been done with traffic, and I'm very concerned about the numbers for the schools."
Beattie asked, "Does anybody know what could Lions Park (School) handle before we get back into the too many students and they are building the temporary classrooms in the parking lot again?"
When asked if whittling down the height would be a breaking point, Christopher Coleman of the Wingspan Development Group, a member of the development team, replied in the affirmative.
"That's the difference between green light and red light," he said. "I know other developers who have looked at this site. They like the site. They could not make the economics work. Could not make the deal work."
Public comment was not exclusively against the project.
"We have not been able to house people who want luxury apartments," said Dawn Fletcher Collins, executive director of the Mount Prospect Chamber of Commerce. "Our business community is struggling. They need this development."
Chris Coleman, VP of Development at Wingspan, periodically shares his thoughts and observations on property development news.