Arlington 425 Goes to Housing Commission, May 6

Arlington 425 Development Goes to Housing Commission, May 6
Posted on 05/03/2019
Arlington 425 Development Rendering

Arlington 425, the proposed mixed-use commercial and residential project slated for Downtown, will appear before the Housing Commission a second time at 6 p.m., Monday, May 6 in the Buechner Room of Village Hall to discuss how many of the residential units must meet the Village’s affordability standards. The project developer has recently indicated agreement to Village Staff’s recommendation on the affordable housing plan for the project. It is anticipated that the project will go to the Village Board at a special meeting on May 13 for final review.

Staff’s recommendation for the development, which includes three mixed-use buildings of 361 units and just under 44,000 square feet of commercial space, is to have 18 affordable units, or 5% of the total units, and to make a payment in lieu of 9 additional affordable units, or 2.5% of the total units, at $25,000 per unit (total of $225,000) to the Village’s Housing Trust Fund. The recommendation also includes that preference for the affordable units be given to current Arlington Heights residents, veterans, and employees of Arlington Heights businesses or organizations.

This mixed-use project is proposed for the northern end of the long-vacant “Block 425,” which is bordered by Campbell Street, Highland Avenue, Sigwalt Street and Chestnut Avenue.

As background, all proposed multi-family housing projects of six or more units in the Village are reviewed for an affordable housing component. The Village’s affordable housing guidelines recommend 15% of units in a development of this size to be affordable to households at or below 60 percent of the Area Median Income.

The number of affordable units that can be included in a multi-family development depends in large part on whether the development is privately financed or if the developer is utilizing State or Federal affordable housing financing programs. Arlington 425 is a privately financed development without government assistance, which limits the number of affordable units that are economically feasible to include in the project. 

Developments that use Federal or State funding or financing tools may be able to include, or may be required by its financing to include, higher numbers of affordable units. This is the case with respect to the recently opened Parkview Apartment building in the Downtown area. Parkview is required to meet Federal or State affordable housing income standards due to the type of funding received for the project. However, this is not the case for the proposed Arlington 425 project. 
In recent years, the Village’s 15% affordable housing guideline has rarely been met and oftentimes a lesser percentage of units are made affordable. The Village has also traditionally accepted payment to its Housing Trust Fund in lieu of allocating the recommended 15% of units as affordable.  

The Village has a long history of privately-owned apartment buildings that contain affordable housing units and/or rent-subsidized apartment buildings that date back to the 1970s. The stock of affordable housing units in the Village is above the level typically found in communities with similar size and median income level.