Apartment talk still has some life in Crown Point

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Apartment talk still has some life in Crown Point

Postby rock star » Wed Dec 03, 2008 11:33 pm

CROWN POINT -- It may look like it after Monday's City Council meeting, but apartment developments aren't dead in the city of Crown Point.
Amid a room of angry residents the council had voted unanimously to deny a request by Hawk Development to put a luxury apartment complex on 93rd Avenue near the Lake County Jail. The council last month narrowly passed the request on a first reading, but council members said they were barraged with phone calls from constituents opposing the plan.

"There are those who say no apartments ever," said Councilman Andrew Kyres. "I think there's a place for apartments in all communities."

But, Kyres said, he would only be in favor of apartments as part of an owner-occupied development, especially including commercial businesses.

"I think every development should be taken on its own merit," he said.

Kyres also sits on the Plan Commission, which, on Monday, will hear petitions on two more proposed apartment complexes.

The Plan Commission will conduct a public hearing on the Preserve at Beacon Hill, a proposed lifestyle community with retail and 596 residential units at the southeast corner of Summit Street and Broadway.

The same night, Michael Lunn will appear in a workshop, also seeking a mix of retail and multi-family at 101st Avenue and Broadway on property surrounding Burns Funeral Home.

Plan Commission member Mike Conquest said he's "not totally against apartments," but added that they need to be regulated.

"In Chicago, people who bought into condo projects are finding themselves without a home because those guys are going bankrupt. Maybe the only market now is rentals."

Plan Commission member Mitch Barloga said he toured a lifestyle center in Carmel that The Preserve, if approved, would be based on.

"It was something I'd never seen before in a rental facility," Barloga said, adding that the 10-year-old complex was still well kept, with high standards, including tenant background checks.

Mayor David Uran said he was appalled at some statements made at Monday's meeting by residents about renters.

"I don't want renters in Crown Point to think we consider them second-class citizens, criminals or irresponsible. and some of the comments indicated that," Uran said. "There was a lot of wrong last night. I felt somewhat embarrassed.

"A lot of good people that rent contribute to the quality of life in Crown Point," Uran said. "Economic times are going to be changing. It's difficult for the younger population to buy a home."

Contact Diane Krieger Spivak at 648-3076 or dspivak@post-trib.com Comment on this story at www.post-trib.com.
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