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?
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.
Monthly meetings (at least for year one) between the developer, Hadley Institute, and 711 Oak to make sure patience keeps pace with progress.
Streetscape Plan. Both sides of Elm and Lincoln. Sweet.
$4.2 million worth of Village improvements and wish list check-offs, by the Village's numbers.
Pesky little exigencies of life like garbage pickup and cooking smells - moved out of eye-, ear- and nose-shot.
And building permit fees maxed at $375,000 help cover the cost of other things the VC wants to do.
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...
Letter of Credit and proof of project financing.
Guarantee of Completion – "absolutely, unconditionally and irrevocably."
And no flipping. Dancing with the one who brung us until the certificate of occupancy.
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.