Spot Check: Signed, Sealed, Delivered. Almost.

Dateline: Tuesday, October 16, 2018, Village Hall.

Thirty-one months, 32 hearings, one group presentation, three ordinances, two resolutions-turned-ordinances, a gazillion staff hours, countless reams of paper, and enough legal and board time to keep clerks and rendering artists in kibble. For a long time.

One Winnetka, the project that virtually defined onerous, even by Winnetka standards, took less than seven seconds to land the votes needed to reach reality.

Lookin’ at You, DRB

But first, the VC went full-on kick-the-can. Trustees who just two weeks before declared themselves astute enough to know what happens when concrete goes wrong, tossed it to the Design Review Board “to negotiate a facade that is pleasing and consistent with the balance of the building and something they wouldn’t be embarrassed to put their names on at the end of the day.”

The newly-empowered DRB will get with the architect and Community Development Director to hammer out the final look and feel. Value engineering meets managed expectations meets something called "what's good for Winnetka."

The VC will not see the project again, thank you very much. Unless no kumbaya. Then we’re talking amendments, and one very miffed Village Council.

The Dream, The Reality

What the developer claims is a $100 million – no, $140 million – 'better-life-for-all' wrapped in a legendary 'put-Winnetka-on-the-map' building replete with enough molding, marble, and polished brass to make even the most jaded homeowner twitch with envy, boils down to:

  • 3 buildings, 5 stories and change – 186,850 square feet on 1.4 acres

  • 29,895 square feet of retail and restaurants

  • 56 residential units – 5 townhouses on Elm, 15 condos in the east building, 36 rentals on Lincoln

  • 115 underground parking spaces for residents and guests

  • 131 underground parking spaces for commuters, employees, and the public which the Village will own and operate.

And Conney’s Pharmacy? 

AKA 736 Elm. AKA The Get. Pocketing that parcel is Job One. According to the Planned Development Ordinance and the Development Agreement, no Conney’s, no One Winnetka.

The clock is ticking. The developer's got 'til midnight, December 31, 2018 to ink that deal, give or take a couple of 90-day extensions. We're betting the VC that's taken this long to get this far will be generous.

They Say They’ve Got Us Covered

From shovel-to-dirt to Honey-I'm-home, are 24 months of dust, debris, and disruption. Here's how the VC – and the Village Attorney – intend to earn Big Cred. If the design and density still don't do it for you, they're hoping this kind of due diligence will.

And just so we won't be left with a honkin' big hole if the project goes toes up, the Village says we're covered X4...

Want more?

And Something Kinda Cool

Lot 3. All forty-nine thousand, three hundred and ninety-nine square feet of it. One hundred and thirteen parking spaces the Village will own. One-point-one-three acres smack in the middle of One Winnetka. Anything happens to One Winnetka – as in default, transfer of ownership, failure to comply, failure to complete on schedule, or any other failure listed in the Development Agreement – the Village says it's got a seat at the table. Eyes seriously on the prize. Hakuna matata.

Who Ya Gonna Call?

On-site Compliance Inspector. Outsider, no conflicts of interest. Hired by the Village, paid by the Developer. $30,000. We'll get you the name, number, and a magnet for your fridge. Until then, keep the Community Development Department on speed dial. Promises made. Promises kept.

Know What’s In It

Five documents, 329 pages of whereases, wherefores, and what-happens-ifs. Promises turned policy. If it’s not in here, it’s not.

  • M-11-2018 – Rezoning Ordinance

  • M-12-2018 – Special Use Permit, Certificate of Appropriateness of Parking Lot

  • R-57-2018 – Plat of Subdivision

  • M-13-2018 – Final Approval of Planned Development of One Winnetka

  • R-58-2018 – Approving Amended and Restated Development Agreement

But most of all...

The Village Attorney’s legalspeak-lite cheat sheet. Exhale.

Moving on to Stormwater and a Downtown Master Plan. Never a dull moment in our little Piece of Paradise.