Algonquin has received a lot of interest from residential developers, its community development director said this week, as one project nears completion along Algonquin Road and another’s concept plans are under review by village planners.
The Trails of Woods Creek, which began selling units last year, is about halfway through its construction phase, having sold 130 of the planned 279 units, said sales representatives with developer Pulte Homes.
The plans for another neighborhood, Westview Crossing, propose a 150-unit, single-family development be built along the east side of Square Barn Road, across from the elementary and middle school campuses. Plans for the site include several large parks and six different home styles.
The village received a formal submittal for the project, but no public hearings are scheduled yet and the proposal still was subject to potential staff alternation, Community Development Director Jason Shallcross said.
“We are definitely being sought after for a reason,” Shallcross said. “We’re very fortunate and happy that people are choosing to live in, or move to, Algonquin.”
The future housing needs of the community will be considered as part of a new comprehensive planning process this summer, Shallcross said.
Westview Crossing would be distinguished by a large amount of open space, including a central park area, visible when driving through the main entryway off Square Barn Road, which would have a playground and shelter structure overlooking a pond, said Richard Olson, a landscape architect with planning firm Gary R. Weber Associates.
Should Westpoint Crossing be approved, a new stoplight would need to go in at Academic Drive and Square Barn Road, Shallcross said.
While many projects the firm has worked on are at least 20% open space – Westview Crossing will be about 22% – Olson said the neighborhood’s landscape buffer on three sides was an unusual element.
The landscaping would include a mix of large evergreens and ornamental trees to be aesthetically interesting throughout the seasons, Olson said.
“The Algonquin staff has been very good to work with,” Olson said. “They’ve given us good feedback to make sure that we get the right plan, the right location for the homes. It’s definitely been a pleasure working with them.”
For the Trail of Woods Creek, where home construction has been ongoing since last year, material and labor issues slowed down the construction process, Village President Debby Sosine said.
That development was otherwise coming along “great”, and homebuilding permits have been coming into the village at a rate of five to 10 a week, she said.
In addition to making sure that developments don’t disturb watersheds or overdraw from aquifers, Sosine said she liked to see a mix of housing options with incoming development projects.
“Algonquin has always had high standards for housing,” Sosine said. “A mix of home styles allows our community to stay a blend of everything. People like parks, amenities, bike trails. That’s how you get great developments.”
That includes rental units or apartments, demand for which is increasing throughout McHenry County as people move from away from the city, Sosine said.
Sosine didn’t think the new homes on the village’s west side would drastically impact retail or commercial development, if only because of the nearby stores along Randall Road in Algonquin and Lake in the Hills. Further east, near the Fox River, Sosine said franchises would probably wait for more development as, east of the Fox River, Algonquin abuts the more sparsely populated village of Barrington Hills.
However, the village continues to see a lot of interest among restaurant developers, with options like Cooper’s Hawk planned for Algonquin.
Sosine said as part of the overview of the comprehensive plan, the village would look to see what vacant property could be filled in by development projects.
The village last updated its comprehensive plan in 2008, just at the beginning of the Great Recession and a “completely different environment” than today, Sosine said.