Algonquin trustees to discuss Riverside proposal

ALGONQUIN – A proposal to switch the residential development at the Riverside Plaza from owner-occupied condos to renter-occupied apartments will be presented again tonight to Village Board members.

Developer John Breugelmans of Lakeland Asset Management is scheduled to present his plan at a Committee of the Whole meeting.

Riverside Plaza is the only item listed on the agenda for this evening.

In August, Breugelmans received a thumbs up from the village’s Planning and Zoning Commission when it approved recommending changing the development from 54 condos to 69 apartments.

The developer was unable to get the necessary financing to build luxury condos, which could take years to sell. However, banks are willing to finance a rental development, Breugelmans has said.

Breugelmans initially presented the plan to Village Board members in May, before formally asking for an amendment to the development plan.

“Back in May, it was conceptual,” Community Development Director Russell Farnum wrote in an email to the Northwest Herald. “Now it has been further refined with full evaluation and recommendations.”

Breugelmans wants to build high-end apartments, with the hope of converting them to luxury condos when the housing market improves.

However, Breugelmans said it could take four to six years for the housing market to stabilize.

Breugelmans wants to build 750-square-foot to 1,430-square-foot apartments that rent for $1,100 to $1,800 a month. He said he does want to go back to condos when the market allows, possibly to the original 54-condo configuration. Breugelmans has said he would not take subsidized housing vouchers at the property.

“I’m counting on common sense and logic, like the Planning and Zoning [Commission] applied,” Breugelmans said. “We are working from real numbers, and the 69 units we have requested approval for is based on professional analysis and studies. Any other number would purely be ... arbitrary.”

Before Breugelmans and Lakeland took over the property, the building stood unfinished for two years. Village officials wanted the building to be watertight and have a completed shell that met property maintenance codes.

Riverside Plaza’s exterior has since been completed.

If you go

What: Algonquin Committee of the Whole

When: 7:30 p.m. today

Where: Village Hall, 2200 Harnish Drive

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