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Apartments up for discussion in Johnsburg

Published: Tuesday, Jan. 29, 2013 5:30 a.m. CDT

JOHNSBURG – Developers want to build an apartment complex near Johnsburg’s main commercial corridor, but some think there might be a better use for the property.

Members of the village’s Development and Government Affairs Committee, which has been doing homework on the building proposal, will have a chance to hash it out and could make a recommendation when they meet Wednesday. The meeting starts at 6:30 p.m. at the Johnsburg Village Hall, 1515 Channel Beach Ave.

Regardless of what the committee says, the developer – Banner Apartments – can take its proposal to the Planning and Zoning Commission and, ultimately, to the Village Board.

Banner approached the committee in late November about building a 72-unit complex on 21.2 acres just west of Walmart on Route 31.

Banner is “extremely professional, extremely talented, [and has a] great base of employees,” said Village Trustee Rich Janusz, who is the committee chairman. He and others visited three apartment complexes managed by Banner.

But Janusz said he some other committee members have doubts about whether an apartment complex would be the best use of the land and whether the village could get more in terms of potential revenue from a more commercial use.

The proposed location is near the village’s main commercial corridor and a proposed Metra station. Johnsburg doesn’t have a lot of commercial space, Janusz said.

Johnsburg, a village of about 6,300 residents just north of McHenry, has one apartment complex – on Route 31 and also near Walmart.

The proposed complex would fill a need for affordable housing in Johnsburg, Chris Hooker, a senior development associate with Banner, told the committee in November.

Banner is applying for the low-income housing tax credit program, which means that in exchange for a financial incentive, it must reserve a certain percentage of units for residents who meet a low-income requirement.

In this case, at least 40 percent of units would be occupied by residents whose combined income is at or below 60 percent of the average median income, which in Johnsburg is about $40,000 a year.

If you go

The Johnsburg Development and Government Affairs Committee will meet at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Johnsburg Village Hall, 1515 Channel Beach Ave.

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