A potential development along Washington Street has some residents concerned with the future of their neighborhood.
History of the Project
1001 South Washington Street was once a PNC Bank, but after being torn down in March, has sat vacant waiting for a new use.
Developer Tartan Realty decided the 3.5-acre lot could use an upgrade with a stylish convenience shopping and office center.
“It really is designed in our opinion so the neighbors and the neighborhood can utilize it by walking to it, getting a coffee, having a community space, having a place to go workout, [and] possible offices for dentist’s office or doctor’s office,” said Will Kreuzer with Tartan. “So it would be a convenience within a few blocks of everyone’s houses.”
Tartan’s Design features complimentary landscaping, ample sidewalk access, two retail/office spaces and a 2,400 square-foot coffee shop with a drive-thru.
“Out of the three buildings only one of them will have a drive-thru for that potential coffee house. And it makes the most sense that that’s drawn as close to the corner of Gartner and Washington as possible,” said Vince Rosanova from Rosanova & Whitaker whose representing Tartan.
In order to get off the ground, the project requires rezoning from its current OCI – Office Commercial Industrial Zoning – to B1 Commercial Zoning.
“So the B1 is a neighborhood/commercial zoning,” said Deputy Director of TED for Naperville Allison Laff. It’s intended for smaller lot, commercial developments and it allows things like office uses, small food establishments, small retail establishments, things like that.”
Causes for Concern
But the rezoning prompted some concerns with neighbors who live adjacent to the property on Sycamore. They’re worried about potential safety issues with the project’s third entrance point located on their residential road.
“So when we originally approached the developer we said we’d be willing to support his project if he would remove the third, unnecessary entrance – city code requires two – and did a restriction on fast food for future use. Because those are things that are really going to have a negative impact on our neighborhood for years to come,” explained Ellen Ziliak, a neighbor of the property.
Meeting with Neighbors
Tartan has met with neighbors in multiple meetings and agreed to restrict drive-thrus for buildings B and C. They also made a condition to eliminate the left turn lane that goes back into the neighborhood on Sycamore, but will keep it as an entrance and a right turn only exit.
“It first eliminates the potential for any conflict with the school that’s down the street,” added Rosanova. “And it also eliminates that potential for any vehicles exiting our site to go into the neighborhood.”
Still Seeing Issues
Yet, the Ziliaks still find issue with this choice for the Sycamore entrance, which lies directly across from their driveway.
“Currently the developer has indicated that he’s not willing to compromise on our major concerns, the biggest being the access on Sycamore,” said Josh Zilliak. “Based on that we decided to start our group Help Save the Highlands in order to protest the zoning.”
Helpsavethehighlands.com has a petition that’s garnered 300 signatures in protest of the project in its current design.
The public will get a chance to speak about the development when it’s formally presented to the Planning and Zoning Commission on July 17.
You can learn more about Tartan’s development at shoppesonwashington.com.
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