Winnetka Village Manager Rob Bahan saved the best for Thursday, December 2, during his part of the State of the Villages virtual event hosted by the local League of Women Voters.
While explaining what was going on to Winnetka, Bahan ended with the news that One Winnetka was returning to the table. The original developer, he said, submitted new concepts for redeveloping the southeast corner of Lincoln and Elm streets.
The Winnetka Village Council will give a first look at the early designs at its regular meeting on Tuesday, December 7th.
âThis is just the start of a process and it’s an opportunity for the developer to pitch the concept and get feedback from the board and the community,â Bahan said at the event.
The meeting will take place less than a month after the board approved settlement agreements to end litigation associated with the One Winnetka project.
Ahead of the November 16 meeting, Winnetka’s director of community development David Schoon said real estate owner Romspen Mortgage, who took over the non-foreclosed properties, was already in advanced talks with One Winnetka developer David Trandel, by Stonestreet Partners.
According to village documentation, Trandel is at the origin of the new concepts with a new designer, OKW Architects, and a partner, Murphy Development Group.
An introductory note in the developer team’s project application reads, in part: â(Murphy), a new face on the team, brings a deeply creative understanding into luxury, multi-family housing and developments to mixed use as well as the realities associated with the type of product. (Murphy) will help us respond better to the market and make One Winnetka not a dream, but a reality.
The note goes on to mention that the development’s âluxury apartmentsâ fill a void on the North Shore and, when associated with commercial space, âpromote community, the ability to walk and the creation of placesâ to advance downtown Winnetka.
One Winnetka grabbed the headlines as an ambitious multi-purpose development that finally gained village council approval in 2018 after more than 30 public meetings. A year later, however, the board withdrew its approval after Trandel and the company missed project deadlines.
Another developer, CA Residential, then submitted preliminary designs to develop the site, but withdrew after the initial review and comments from Winnetka’s board in January 2020.
The site was then the subject of litigation until November 16, when the village council approved settlement agreements that ended the lawsuits and awarded more than $ 200,000 to the village of Winnetka.
With the road cleared, the Romspen and Trandel team were ready with a new multi-use concept – still called One Winnetka – which is a five-story building with 18,000 square feet of retail space on the first floor and 74 apartments. distributed over floors 2 -5. The design will add 158 parking spaces, 115 of which will be underground for residents of the complex, according to a note from Winnetka village staff.
The original One Winnetka, also five-story, had 58 residential units, 30,000 square feet of commercial space and over 200 parking spaces.
Other significant differences between the plans include the exclusion of 736 Elm Street, which houses the Conney Pharmacy. Additionally, in the new design, the old Phototronics storefront at 740 Elm St. will survive, but “the applicant intends to refresh the appearance and re-let the building,” the village documents say.
Using a recessed design, the fourth and fifth floors of the building will be further indented from the property line than the first three floors. The documents say: “The setback of upper floors is required by code to reduce the perceived scale of buildings on the sidewalk.” The 2018 design did not feature such setbacks.
According to the staff memo, the board does not review One Winnetka’s designs until Tuesday, December 7; he will not take any action. This is the second of four phases of the plan review process. The third step, if the applicant sticks to the project, is for the applicant to submit a preliminary plan development request which will first be considered by the Planned Development Commission and the Design Review Board.
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