May 30, 2023
Local News

Developer plans 116-unit residential proposal for Woodstock's former Die Cast property

Officials say city incentives possible

After receiving supportive feedback Thursday from the Woodstock Plan Commission, an Elgin-based developer is set to make a formal proposal to erect apartment buildings totaling 116 units on the former Die Cast site in downtown Woodstock.

The city may play a role in financing the project, as it bought the property earlier this year, and Building and Zoning Director Joe Napolitano, reached by phone Friday, suggested the city could work out an incentive package for the project since the parcel falls within one of Woodstock's tax increment financing districts.

“This is a pretty tight deal for us, and meeting market rents and with the project we’re proposing, we’re really tight,” Peter Nelson, a principal with the Pancor Construction and Development group pursuing the project, told the commission.

“We’re doing our best in working with [city] staff to see how we best get this project to move forward. We’re doing everything from our side we can as a developer. It’s taken a little more time than we thought.”

So far, the project design includes a building that would be four stories at one section and the rest three stories, according to drawings and documents submitted to the commission.

That building would be located on the part of the property surrounded by Newell, Clay and Wheeler streets. A townhome development with 44 units also would be built to the north.

An additional 72 units would be built in a building four to five stories high during the second phase of construction. That phase would be built south of Newell, bordered by that street, Clay and the Metra station east parking lot.

The developer added 12 units to the plans for the second phase after receiving direction from Woodstock Mayor Brian Sager, Pancor architect Aleksandr D. Vaysman said. The project would be called Central Station and feature units ranging from one- to two-bedrooms and luxury two-bedrooms, Pancor leaders told the commission.

“I think these buildings are top-notch. I think they relate to the Square. I think they relate to the overall architecture of Woodstock,” Vaysman said.

A walking and bike trail also would be built along the railroad tracks at the site. Pancor is eyeing the vacant land across North Street from the existing townhomes in the area as another future townhome development site.

The city made it an objective to redevelop the former Die Cast auto parts site since the employment center was shut down in the 1990s.

The existing townhomes in the area originally were meant to be accompanied by similar developments, but a past developer had plans scuttled by the financial crisis in the late 2000s, according to previous Northwest Herald reports.

Pancor hopes to have units in its first phase ready to be moved into by spring 2022.

“This is great,” Plan Commission Chairman Cody Sheriff said. “This is really cool to see this happening. I am really excited for this and jealous of all the cool people that are going to be able to move in there.”

Sam Lounsberry

Sam Lounsberry

Sam Lounsberry is a former Northwest Herald who covered local government, business, K-12 education and all other aspects of life in McHenry County, in particular in the communities of Woodstock, McHenry, Richmond, Spring Grove, Wonder Lake and Johnsburg.