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An upscale apartment building across from the Glen Ellyn Public Library was fully let last week, months ahead of schedule.

The developers behind the Avere on Duane complex are now focused on their next project in the village: a $ 36 million residential building that would add 77 units to a wave of downtown apartment construction.

This time around, Chicago-based Reva Development Partners is proposing to convert the former US bank branch and an adjacent office building into apartments, townhouses and underground parking at Duane Street and Forest Avenue.

If it comes to fruition, the four-story building, dubbed Avere on Forest, would become the fourth large-scale apartment project to go forward downtown.

The village plan commission on Thursday evening will provide informal comments on the concept before the developers fully flesh out the design.

Glen Ellyn administrators have generally been receptive to the idea of ​​new apartments on the high profile American Bank site, steps from the Illinois Prairie Path and within walking distance of a long-planned new Metra station. dated.

Earlier this week, members of the village board offered initial support for the building’s height, which matches the zoning parameters, and its unique configuration. The H-shaped building allows developers to maximize the number of corner units and yard space at the front and rear of the complex.

But some directors are more lukewarm about the architecture and the facade of the building compared to the historic flavor of downtown.

“I think the overall design is right – it’s too modern. I don’t think we are ‘Brigadoon,’ said administrator Kelli Christiansen, referring to the Scottish musical.“ We have to be open to change. and not everything in the village has to be Tudor-esque. “

But Christiansen suggested a design more consistent with the look of the Glen Ellyn Civic Center across Duane Street.

Preliminary plans call for a lighter brick clad building to be picked up on the lighter exterior of the United First United Methodist Church in Glen Ellyn.

“I share the view that this is a bit too modern for the village,” said Glen Ellyn Village President Mark Senak. “We would like to keep some of the more historic character of the new construction in the village, and I don’t see this as an insurmountable task. I think that with good discussion we can find that balance.”

Senak and other council members encouraged developers to consult with the village’s historic preservation commission and provide a computerized 3D rendering of the project. The developers responded with a desire to go back to the drawing board and change the elevations of the building.

“It can be adjusted,” said Reva manager Warren James.

His real estate company has adapted apartments near the library to empty nesters by offering larger floor plans and high-end finishes.

“Avere on Duane has proven the strength of the market with very quick rental while achieving pro forma rents,” Reva directors wrote in a September 3 letter to village director Mark Franz.

Developers continue to see a strong demand for luxury rental housing even as more apartments are emerging in the city center. Compared to recently approved downtown apartment buildings, Avere on Forest would contain much larger units, averaging 1,306 square feet.

Average rents are estimated at $ 3,200 per month. Four of the units would be townhouses facing Duane Street.

“We continue to feel good in the larger units,” said Matt Nix, director of Reva.

The developers are also looking to create a food kiosk, cafe, or Italian-style ice cream stand, which would give Prairie Path users a reason to stop and congregate in an “underused” park. The developers say they are coordinating improvements with district park officials.

Reva also offered a “pay-as-you-go” tax increase funding incentive similar to what the village approved for the Avere on Duane project.

In a TIF neighborhood, as redevelopment increases property values, additional tax revenue that would otherwise go to tax bodies such as schools and parks can be used to pay for improvements to the area.

At Reva’s request, the additional income generated by the project would be returned to 90-10 between developers and the village over the remaining 14 years of TIF District until 2035. The incentive would amount to around $ 5. $ 3 million, or approximately 15% of the total estimated costs of the project.

“In order to design the most suitable building for this location, we have undertaken a more complex building design / structure, which will include 100% below grade parking, raised gardens / amenity areas and many features. unique architectural designs, ”said the letter Reva. “We are also looking to redesign and activate the adjacent Prairie Path Park. Due to the increased complexity of building and the general escalation in widely publicized construction costs, we cannot achieve sufficient returns without using TIF funds to bridge the economic gap. “

Franz stressed that the request is preliminary and has not yet been reviewed by the village TIF consultant.

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