Developer who once sued village to start construction on new project in Arlington Heights

A Chicago-based affordable housing developer who once filed a federal housing discrimination lawsuit against the village is expected to begin construction soon on a 45-unit apartment building in downtown Arlington Heights.

The 45-unit Parkview development, to be located at 212 N. Dunton Ave., was previously approved by village officials in 2014, and includes one, two and three-bedroom apartments to be built by UP Developers, whose other local projects include Philhaven in Wheeling, and Myers Place in Mount Prospect, both of which feature affordable housing for residents with disabilities.

UP Developers' previously proposed Boeger Place, a 30-unit development serving residents with mental illness, required several code variations, which were denied by the village board in 2010, prompting a housing discrimination lawsuit, which was dismissed by a federal judge in 2012.

The company's latest Arlington Heights project, which is described as serving "a mix of individuals and families of all income ranges," will include a minimum of seven affordable rental units, said Charles Witherington-Perkins, the village's director of planning and community development.

The $12.7 million Parkview project is not the first development in the village's downtown to include affordable housing units, with roughly 20 percent of Dunton Towers' 200 apartments earmarked for low-income residents, Witherington-Perkins said.

Officials with UP Developers were not immediately available for comment on Wednesday.

But Arlington Heights Mayor Thomas Hayes said despite the developer having previously sued the village over the Boeger Place project, officials are "obligated to review each project on a case-by-case basis."

"Obviously it's a concern, and we certainly don't like to be sued," Hayes said. "We did take a close look at this development, but we always need to keep an open mind and look at any and all proposals that could benefit the village. We needed to put past differences aside, and evaluate this property on its own merits."

According to a description of the development on the company's website, the building will include two floors of indoor parking and five floors of residential apartments.

"Parkview will add an attractive, energy efficient, and high quality construction building to the neighborhood that will not only add needed affordable units to the area, but also contribute to the economic growth of the community," the UP Development website states.

The project features a building design that fits into the character of the surrounding neighborhood, Hayes said.

"Affordable housing always brings a negative stigma to a lot of people, but it does not necessarily mean a development will bring in a bad element," Hayes said. "My daughter would qualify to obtain affordable housing, as would a lot of other single individuals."

Indeed, Hayes said for years, village officials have tried to achieve the federal government's recommended goal of having 10 percent of the community's total housing units meeting the criteria for affordable housing.

"With the help of our housing commission, we've had some really good success achieving results, which benefits everyone," Hayes said.

Earlier this year, UP Development submitted a new proposal, Heart's Place, at the site of the previously proposed Boeger Place on the north side of the village, which would include 16 two-bedroom apartment units providing permanent supportive housing for persons with physical, medical and mental disabilities, as well as victims of domestic violence.

Twitter @kcullotta

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