By Kevin Boneske
HOWARD – The village board voted 7-1 March 22 to approve the final planned development district (PDD) requested by Alliance Management to construct three 16-unit and two 12-unit apartment buildings on an approximately 5-acre site within the Lancaster Creek Business Park along Security Boulevard.
Trustee Craig McAllister, who cast the lone dissenting vote, said he objected to the apartment project locating in a business park and not a residential area.
“The area is not really equipped for residential amenities, i.e. sidewalks,” he said. “I don’t feel the taxpayers should subsidize this project by selling the land for $1, and then refunding a large portion of the property taxes for the lifetime of the TIF (Tax Incremental Financing).”
Village President Burt McIntyre said the site of the apartment project isn’t limited for use as a business park.
“It would be nice if we could get it filled up with businesses, but that property has been for sale for a very long time,” he said. “We have, I believe, three empty buildings sitting on that property. The value of the property is being diminished by the fact that nobody wants to occupy it.”
McIntyre said he wants a quality development on the property – something the village could be proud of.
“In terms of sidewalks and stuff, I don’t know the need in this particular configuration that sidewalks are necessary, because it’s not a contiguous route that anyone would walk,” he said. “But that’s just my personal preference.”
The final PDD, which was recommended March 15 by the village’s Plan Commission, calls for the project to utilize a steep section of land not originally intended for development to provide the village an opportunity to increase the potential tax base over the original business park plan.
The apartments will include 36 two-bedroom and 36 one-bedroom units, with all of the units having private entrances and the two-bedroom units also having one-stall attached parking, while the remaining cars utilize the detached parking garages and off-street parking spots.
Last July, the board extended an option to purchase until June 30 for Alliance Management to come up with a plan for developing portions of three village-owned lots in the business park with apartments.
Alliance Management CEO Erik Goerke said the COVID-19 pandemic delayed the company moving forward on whether to develop the property in TIF District No. 8.
The company’s other apartment developments in Howard include the 84-unit Howard Lofts project next to the Village Center.
It also manages and markets the Howard Commons apartment complex for the village.