McHenry City Council to consider 540-unit apartment complex – Shaw Local

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The McHenry City Council on Tuesday will consider a proposed apartment complex that could bring 540 one- and two-bedroom rental units to the city.

The 7 p.m. meeting was moved from its regular first Monday of the month schedule because of the Labor Day holiday.

McHenry-based Cunat is requesting a zoning amendment and preliminary plan approval for the Residences of Fox Meadows, set for the northeast corner of Veterans Parkway and Route 31.

Currently, part of the proposed property is zoned as an industrial park, with another portion zoned as high-density residential, said Ross Polerecky, the city’s community development director. A zoning map amendment would make the entire property a high-density multifamily residential district.

Annexed to the city in 2003, the site originally was planned as the Prairie Pointe Business Park, according to city documents. Expecting future development, the site underwent water and sewer improvements, but no developer came forward seeking to put retail or industrial businesses there, according to a staff report prepared for the council.

Before building permits are issued, Cunat would need to add sidewalks and a multi-use path along Veterans Parkway, according to the staff report.

Vehicles move along Route 31 in McHenry past an empty parcel east of the highway at Veterans Parkway that is being targeted by Cunat Inc. for the development of 540 apartment units, which would make the property McHenry’s largest multi-family complex. (Sam Lounsberry)

Plans call for 18 three-story buildings with 324 one-bedroom and 216 two-bedroom units total, which would make it the city’s largest apartment property in terms of total units by far, officials have said.

The proposed market-rate development also would include garages, a community center with both indoor and outdoor pools, playgrounds, basketball courts and a dog park. Cunat officials have indicated the apartment complex would be pet-friendly, Polerecky said.

Market rates for one- and two- bedroom units in the region were at a median $2,000 and $2,200 a month, respectively, earlier this summer.

Three public hearings were held with the Planning and Zoning Commission before the City Council vote, Polerecky said.

The developers, John and Brian Cunat, brought back design changes based on those hearings, Polerecky said.

If the plan receives the council’s preliminary approval, the Cunats would need to return to the council with final plans, Polerecky said. If final approval is given “before the snow flies, dirt could be pushed” before the end of 2022, he said.

During the planning and zoning hearings, Cunat representatives indicated it would take about three years to build the first 270 units, and they would assess demand before starting a second phase, bringing the total to 540 units.

“The first phase is for half the number [of apartments], but [the] council would be approving the whole project” if the plan is accepted, Polerecky said.

Polerecky noted that another apartment complex approved last year, at Route 31 and Blake Road, is already accepting residents.

The city has taken a closer look at the need for rental units in the past year. McHenry asked Schaumburg-based Tracy Cross & Associates for a study in 2021 to look at the rental unit needs not only in the city but also in the region.

That study found a 99.7% occupation rate for all apartments in the general area around McHenry, Polerecky said.

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September 3, 2022 at 07:55AM

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