Development Planned at South/Harlem


Oak Park has reached an agreement with developer Morningside Equities Group for a new mixed-use building on South Boulevard.

The $30 million, eight-story building will include 96 condominiums and 12,500 square feet of retail space at South Boulevard and Harlem Avenue. The land is a village-owned parking lot.

Morningside will replace the 143-space parking lot with 245 public parking spaces in a new public garage attached to the project.

“We’re almost doubling the quantity of public parking spaces at the current lot,” Morningside Senior Development Manager Mary Ellen Martin said.

Terms of an agreement have been reached, Village President David Pope said. They now need to be written out.

The village said in a press release it expects to sign a formal agreement with Morningside by the end of this year.

This is Morningside’s first project in Oak Park, Martin said. It submitted its proposal in August 2006. Negotiations with the developer began in October 2006, a village press release said.

Morningside had proposed a two-level parking deck, with 72 condominium units. The development will instead have three parking levels, one dedicated to condominium owners and two for the public, Martin said.

To build the additional 102 parking spaces, the village will give $1.9 million to project. It is giving the land, which the village originally purchased for $3 million, to Morningside at no cost.

The village will initially borrow the money to pay for the parking structure, Pope said. The loan will be repaid with parking revenue.

“Those parking spaces themselves will generate sufficient revenue to pay for both the bonding costs and the operating costs,” Pope said.

The development will go through the village’s planned development process, Pope said, appearing before the village’s Plan Commission. Residents will have an opportunity to offer public comment on the project at that time.

Morningside has agreed to pursue a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design green building rating for the design and construction of the new building.

“We think it’s a wonderful market for that product,” Martin said.

Condominiums in the new building will likely range between the high $200,000s to the middle $300,000s, Martin said.

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