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Developer Plans Apartment Complex for Vacant Wesley St. Property

City Council will discuss proposed development on vacant lot and idea to allow purchaser to use some TIF dollars for project.

City Council will review plans Monday for a proposed apartment complex in downtown Wheaton at 218 Wesley Street, a block of vacant land bordered by Front Street, Scott Street, Wesley Street and Cross Street.

The property is under contract, according to listing agent Daniel Hyman. The purchaser, residential and retail developer Morningside Equities Group, Inc., is now in a "due diligence" period to determine the factors associated with the development of the site, according to City Manager Don Rose. Morningside has until Nov. 21 to tell the bank that owns the property whether it will proceed with the sale.

Morningside plans to build a 300-unit apartment complex on the 2.6-acre site, and will discuss with City Council the utilization of TIF monies for the project.

"I think there will be support for this," said Wheaton Mayor Mike Gresk. However, council members will want to know how much in TIF monies Morningside will want and how they plan to use it, he added.

The bank-owned property is listed for $5.5 million, according to the city's website. The complex, according to Mary Ellen Martin of Morningside in a letter to Gresk, would include a courtyard with barbeque and social recreation areas; a theater; a fitness center; bike storage; residential storage; a community room with catering kitchen and a business center.

The six-story development would also include heated, enclosed parking for approximately 400 cars in an interior, two-level concrete parking structure, Martin wrote.

Council will review the plans submitted by Morningside Monday, Nov. 7 at , 303 Wesley Street.

kerry mansour November 07, 2011 at 09:39 PM
ugh. I don't love this idea. How about a Park there, a PLAYGROUND park? There's nothing on the north side of the tracks and east of Main in all of downtown Wheaton.
Stephanie November 07, 2011 at 10:21 PM
I'm all for it. Would love the option of renting a nice, modern place close to downtown Wheaton.
Charlotte Eriksen (Editor) November 07, 2011 at 10:50 PM
Thanks for pointing that out Kerry—you're right, with the exception of Community Park in Carol Stream and Hawthorne Junction (on Wakeman, has a tot lot...), there's nothing else.
Alan Seagren November 07, 2011 at 11:16 PM
I'm glad that this location is being developed and I hope that they include some rental units for all incomes.
faith November 08, 2011 at 03:00 AM
Wheaton is stuck in a loop of old thinking. No more yarn or outdated menswear stores. Enough barber shops ..Wheaton is drying up and soon will be dead. We have too many condos, apartments etc.. we need some fresh retail. Please Wheaton leaders think about future and not about your selves.
kerry mansour November 08, 2011 at 04:34 AM
A nice park, right off the downtown Wheaton corridor would be so wonderful! We noticed many parks like this in Winter Park and other small towns in Colorado this summer. We'd drive into the downtown areas, play at the park, then stroll around town, shopping and grabbing some food. Really nice way to spend time when you have small children. And the location, across from the library--perfect! (I'd really like it to have a splash-pad area, too, but that's probably pushing it :)
Alan Seagren November 08, 2011 at 03:06 PM
The great thing about a complex like this, besides adding to our tax rolls, is that it will provide more foot traffic to the downtown area. This will in turn stimulate the desired commercial growth as mentioned above. It will also allow Wheaton the opportunity to add some affordable housing units for it's citizens. While parks are always an awesome idea, I'm not sure that, at this time, the Park District has the funds to purchase the land, build a park this size, and maintain the park without coming to us for more money.
Charlotte Eriksen (Editor) November 08, 2011 at 06:09 PM
Alan, the Morningside VP said Monday that the average rent would be $1.85 per square foot, or around $1,730 per month (for one and two bedroom places).
Charlotte Eriksen (Editor) November 08, 2011 at 06:09 PM
thank you for commenting, faith.
Charlotte Eriksen (Editor) November 08, 2011 at 06:10 PM
haha thanks, kerry.
Alan Seagren November 08, 2011 at 07:24 PM
That current rental rate is considerated affordable (30% of gross income) for someone making $70,000 per year. That is far from what a lot of people who work and serve us in our community make. Hopefully the city council will add a requirement that the developer set aside a number of units that are affordable for folks with much lower incomes.
CAROLE November 08, 2011 at 07:46 PM
Perhaps eliminate some of the "luxury items" and bring the rental fees down?????
Charlotte Eriksen (Editor) November 08, 2011 at 08:37 PM
Thanks, Alan. reps from Morningside considered that in their report to City Council (I am working on story now), estimating revenue from gross downtown business sales if 382 people spend $200 per month, which is more than $900,000 a year.
Alex Keown November 08, 2011 at 10:03 PM
What retail establishments would you like to see in downtown Wheaton (particularly the zoning area in question) that could be considered fresh? And while waiting on such establishments, is it better to have empty store fronts in town, or to have a business come in and bolster the towns' taxes?
Impartial Observer November 09, 2011 at 05:13 PM
Aren't you forgetting about Adams Park which is an entire cityblock diagonally across from this property? Wheaton, like all municipalities in Illinois, need property tax generating developments and people living downtown to patronize the local businesses.
Charlotte Eriksen (Editor) November 09, 2011 at 09:14 PM
David, you're right. I was only referring to parks with playgrounds. Adams Park is a great park though and will be a great view, and resource/destination, for the future residents.
CAROLE November 10, 2011 at 01:58 AM
JUST A THOUGHT---BUT WHAT IS REALLY NEEDED DOWNTOWN FOR THE RESIDENTS PRESENT AND FUTURE--IS----A GROCERY AND DRUG STORE!!!!! AT THE PRESENT TIME---ONLY DANADA AND MAIN/GENEVA ROAD--HAVE THESE.
Impartial Observer November 10, 2011 at 02:11 AM
Mariano's, a high-end grocery chain, has announced their plan to build a store on the Hubble School site adjacent to downtown. Your wish will be granted! http://triblocal.com/wheaton/2011/07/01/developer-plans-to-build-marianos-grocery-in-downtown-wheaton/
Charlotte Eriksen (Editor) November 10, 2011 at 02:21 AM
Yup, thanks David. I'm gonna go ahead and plug one of the many stories we reported on that as well... http://patch.com/A-jZF8.

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