Council Unanimously Approves Heritage Place

After years of discussion, Naperville City Council believes it finally has the “win-win-win” result for the Kroehler Mansion property.

Heritage Place

The group approved the 41-unit Heritage Place townhome complex proposed by developer Ram West Capital, which will include two units in the mansion itself. That required them to overturn the Historic Preservation Commission’s previous ruling that they couldn’t alter the façade of the 100-year-old building.

“This is a long road and I think that through a lot of diligence with staff and the developer and the community, and I mean every voice in the community, I think this is the best product that we could hope for,” said Councilwoman Patty Gustin.

Little Friends’ Sale

Property owner Little Friends, which needs to sell its land to facilitate a move to Warrenville, could have demolished the mansion to get the best price. A $450,000 incentive from the city along with Ram West’s plan will keep the historic building intact.

“I think if we voted down this proposal, the most likely outcome – we’ve been working at it so much – I think the most likely scenario is that Little Friends would demolish the mansion,” said Councilman Patrick Kelly.

Public Opposition

Still, most of the more than 20 public commenters opposed Ram West’s proposal.

“I’m not opposed to developing that lot,” said Historic District resident Anne Swanson. “I’m against walls going up everywhere, cutting off light and taking up green space.”

“Naperville Preservation Inc. believes Heritage Place is far from compatible with the surrounding neighborhood in appearance, height, massing, and total number of units,” said Tom Ryan of Naperville Preservation Inc.

Addressing Issues

But the dais felt Ram West had addressed most of the concerns that had been brought up throughout the years of discussion.

“If you think back to when this all started, what were the three components that everyone wanted to keep? It’s the mansion. It was reduced parking – that was a concern with the college going in there. And the other was the open space, saving the park. I believe they are addressed here,” said Councilman Paul Hinterlong.

Heritage Place will also include more dedicated park space than was there before.

Naperville News 17’s Casey Krajewski reports.

 

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