Backers of a plan to build a 342-apartment complex west of Randall Road didn’t take long to make clear the concepts behind their proposal.
Representatives of and a design firm hired for the project presented an upscale complex that focused on amenities for residents and boasts retail and office storefronts in mixed-use buildings for a more "urban" feel. They envision three- and four-story apartment buildings overlooking an area spotted with pocket parks, featuring a clubhouse, fitness center and Internet café.
All this would go on about 17 acres of land that, in 2008, was approved for the development of office buildings.
The market is showing in a shift in how quickly and likely JCF are to fill office space, said Paul Robertson, an executive vice president with Schaumburg-based company. They had originally anticipated it would take 6-8 years to complete the multiple phases of the Corporate Reserves development.
“We’re two years behind schedule, today,” Robertson told the Tuesday.
Developers estimated the pricing would come in around $1.50 to $1.70 a square foot for the studio, one- and two-bedroom apartments.
Joe Safin of BSB Design, the national design firm working with JCF on the project, said market research for these more amenity-heavy complexes does not find support for three-bedroom apartments and tend not to attract families with multiple children. The tendency now for many people is to rent rather than own a house but still want the amenities associated with homeownership.
"We’re seeing a lot of different demographics going to rental communities. It’s by choice and because they have to," Safin said.
At an average of 900 square feet, rent would range from about $1,300 to $1,500, according to that estimate—not counting apartments priced to meet city affordable housing rules.
By comparison, AMLI at St. Charles lists rent for its one-bedroom apartments in the Kirk Road complex at about $1,000 to $1,100, according to the AMLIwebsite. Two-bedroom places range from $1,100 to $1,400.
Rents for apartments at Shodeen-owned Covington Court on Prairie Street fall within the $900 to $1,200 range.
Hearing the concept plan for the first time Tuesday night, Plan Commission members had a bit of a mixed reaction to the idea of such a dense complex, even though most welcomed the change to residential.
Members expressed positive comments on the proposal, citing the unique idea of a more urban-style pocket of residential housing.
“Frankly, I think it’d be terrific to have something in this area of a more urban design, similar to what we would see downtown on First Street,” said Plan Commission member Tom Schuetz.
Schuetz said that one of his children just bought a home in St. Charles and imagined that his other kids, who are in their early 20s, might appreciate a more urban, mixed-use area.
Member Brian Doyle said he believed the there is a market for the residential development but expressed concerns about the design of the complex. He also said that developers would hear concerns related the density.
Housing developments neighbor the proposed site to the west and south.
“We don’t have high-density in this area.” Doyle said.