The Village of Lake Zurich has officially sold the 1.35 acre downtown Block C to Foxford Communities for the development of 48 apartment units in two buildings, to be built at the northwest corner of Main Street and Old Rand Road. The real estate closing was finalized on August 24th, 2017, where Mayor Poynton formally transferred the long-held Village land back onto private property tax rolls, a major step in downtown revitalization.
In November of 2016, the Village Board approved the development, called “Somerset By The Lake”, which will include two apartment buildings with a mix of 12 one bedroom and 36 two bedroom units. The sale and development of this long-vacant property is a major step in the Village’s ongoing efforts to revitalize downtown.
“I am excited to see this residential development coming to completion in downtown Lake Zurich” said Mayor Tom Poynton. “This development will bring additional people downtown who will support the shops and restaurants currently here and help attract new downtown destination projects. Economic development professionals call this ‘retail follows rooftops’ and having a critical mass of people living downtown will boost other business recruitment efforts.”
The Village initially started its push for a revitalized downtown in the early 2000’s. However, numerous factors made large-scale economic development projects difficult including the 2007-2009 Great Recession, the poor financial state of potential developers during this time, and overall tough market conditions.
The successful closing of this week’s deal for Somerset By The Lake shows a renewed commitment from the development community and a proactive approach by the Village to attract more residents to live downtown.
“Working with The Village of Lake Zurich to make this project come to fruition has been such a positive experience for us,” said Tim Kellogg with Foxford Communities. “Through our unique partnership, we have been able to create a vibrant, pedestrian-friendly plan that will contribute to the resurgence of the downtown district. Luxury rental communities within suburban downtowns have been a big draw for both millennials and baby boomers and Somerset By The Lake’s condo-quality units provide an option for those who can afford to buy but choose to rent instead.”
The Village sold the 1.35 acre property for a purchase price of $270,000, which is being earmarked for further downtown improvements such as the underground burial of existing overhead utilities on Main Street, a public plaza at the intersection of Old Rand and Main, and other public improvements for the downtown district.
Construction activities on Block C are scheduled to begin quickly after closing, with Foxford contractors scheduled to break ground on Monday, August 28th, just three days after closing. The first phase of the project will consist of installation of fencing around the property, followed by site grading throughout the development with the total project timeline projected to be 18 months until completion, currently estimated for March 2019.
Somerset By The Lake residents will have immediate access to restaurants and shopping within walking distance. Attracting future commerce downtown will depend on customers being in close proximity to potential business locations.