Developer envisions rental units at Maplewood School property in Cary

CARY – A potential development on the vacant Maplewood School property would include 150 to 200 rental units, a developer told Cary School District 26 Board members.

Richard Sova, president of the Barrington-based Landover Corporation, on Monday gave a presentation to school board members about his vision for the Maplewood property.

Landover is considering a rental development that would include one-, two- and three-bedroom units. The heights of the building would be two to four stories tall.

Sova said there is a demand now for rental units.

Rents would be set at the market rate, Sova said. Those rents would be based on a market study, which still needs to take place.

School board members requested the presentation in light of the backlash from the planned Pedcor Investments affordable housing apartment complex at First and Pearl streets.

“Our intent as a board is to do this in a public way and procedural way,” said board President Jason Larry.

For any project to move forward would require a rezoning and approval from the village.

Terrence Smith, the director of Planning for BSB Design, an architecture firm working with Landover, said the location is good for rentals.

“The location being along the Metra line provides a nice opportunity for a rental community Landover is considering,” Smith said.

Under the village’s draft comprehensive plan, the steering committee and the village’s consultants, Houseal Lavigne, have marked Maplewood to be redeveloped as a mixture of condominiums, apartments and/or senior housing. The property also should include townhomes on the edge of the property, a new park and a new road within the property.

“I think it’s a plan we can work with, “ Sova said.

Sova said Landover was initially interested in developing the entire property, without parks and a road. It could have included 250 units on the property and the investment would have been about $28 million, Sova said.

However, with the village’s vision of a park and the road, it may limit the development to 150 to 200 units.

There are single-family houses near the Maplewood property. There would be some type of buffer that could be landscaping or some type of product that is two stories tall, Sova said.

The school district is selling the vacant Maplewood property and has listed it for $2.2 million.

If the school district decides to sell the Maplewood property, it will reserve the right to take up to a year to vacate the property after the deal is finalized, District 26 Operations Coordinator Steve Fields has said.

The property includes the school district’s transportation facility. The district has the option to re-parcel the property or relocate its transportation operations to areas near Cary Junior High or Deer Path School.

The district expects building a new transportation facility to take 50 to 55 weeks when including design and construction, and cost $1.7 million to $2.6 million.

A second developer has approached the school district with interest in the Maplewood property. The developer, whose identity was not disclosed, is reviewing its options.

Larry said the district would not spend money to design a new bus barn until the property is sold, which most likely wouldn’t take place until a development plan is approved by the village.

“Even if it costs as much to move the bus barn as we get for the property, and we get to avoid maintaining a property this district does not need ... and also add taxable income to the rolls in Cary and this district ... that is a good fit,” Larry said.

Property tax levy approved

The Cary School District 26 Board on Monday approved its annual property tax levy.

Director of Finance and Operations Jeff Schubert said he expects the levy to increase 1.5 percent from last year’s levy of $20.3 million.

District 26 is under the rules of the Property Tax Extension Limitation Law, which limits how much the district can increase with its annual tax levy on existing property to the lesser of the rate of inflation or 5 percent.

The district in its levy request asked for a 4.87 percent increase, to ensure it is able to levy property taxes on all new growth.

Board member Jen Crick voted against the levy request.

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