A mixed-use development of $ 500 million on the McDonald's Plaza site along the north side of 22nd Street near Spring Road was approved unanimously Tuesday by the Oak Brook Village Board.
Plans for Oak Brook Commons, a site of 17.5 acres, include 250 apartments for rent, 104 condominium units, a 252-room hotel, three restaurants, offices, shops and parking spaces that are almost 100 meters long and 25 meters wide.
The developer is Hines, a 63-year global property investment, development and property management company with a presence in over 200 cities in 24 countries.
Hines gave the village council a preliminary review of the project in January and has since worked to address the concerns of village officials and staff. The two main problems were the construction of the first apartments in a village dominated by single-family homes and providing sufficient parking for the entire development.
"Hines was very attentive to our concerns," said John Baar, a member of the village council, noting that the developer's initial proposal involved the sale of 500 rental units, before that number was reduced to 280 and then to 250 .
Connie Xinos, a long-time Oak Brook resident, has spoken out against the granting of apartments for rent in the village.
"You begin to bring the tenants and when they leave, they leave an empty apartment," he said. "It will destroy Oak Brook as we know it."
Xinos said he fears that the apartments will become Section 8, part of the housing law, which authorizes the payment of housing assistance to private owners.
"The border we have on the east side is something we don't want in this city," he said, citing Westchester, Maywood and Melrose Park.
But Greg Van Schaack, the managing director of Hines in Chicago, assured that there would never be housing in Section 8 in the development.
"Tenants will need to make at least $ 100,000 a year to qualify," said Van Schaack of those who want to become residents of the rental.
He said the apartments would probably be converted into condos and sold at some point.
The office space in the project will be the first multi-office office building to be built in the village since Hines completed a 700 Commerce Drive building in 2000.
Baar said the development verifies some significant positive factors for Oak Brook, including its proximity to Oakbrook Center.
"This development brings a huge amount of investment to the village," he said. "It will be like the lighthouse, a lighthouse, which shows other developers that maybe they should come here. And this will only be to support our shopping center."
The project is expected to generate $ 6.4 million in permits for Oak Brook.
The member of the board of directors, Philip Cuevas, was one of many who at the beginning had reservations about supporting a development that included apartments.
"He had to be in the right place, and when you look at him, it's like a condominium," he said.
Board member Michal Manzo also expressed reservations about supporting a development that includes apartments.
"Normally I am opposed to apartments, but this is a half-billion dollar project, and the apartments will most likely be converted into condominiums," he said. "Overall, this is a great development for Oak Brook made by a leading developer, and it's a project that we wouldn't have achieved without the apartments."