Cary officials accept lone bid submitted to re-purpose former senior center

Developer proposes to add ten apartment units, maintain existing architectural look

A rendering for a possible repurposing of the parcel at 441 West Main Street in Cary, which includes a historic school building over 120 years old; an initial concept by True North Properties, Inc., shown here, includes several small apartment buildings and garage units designed to match the original structure.

The Cary Village Board unanimously accepted Tuesday the one-and-only bid submitted for redevelopment of the former Kraus Senior Center and its surrounding property.

Details of the project, proposed by True North Properties, are set to be discussed at a public hearing before the Cary Planning and Zoning Commission at 7 p.m. Oct. 13 at the village hall.

The village has been working with True North for “several months,” said Brian Simmons, Cary’s community development director. The plans could be presented for recommendation and review by Village Board members on Nov. 1.

Pending zoning approval, construction on what would bring 10 market-rate apartments to the area would begin next year, Simmons said.

Once the redevelopment project receives final approval, True North would purchase the existing historic building at 441 W. Main St. – built in 1888 and used as a schoolhouse – and the surrounding property for $100,000, Simmons said.

1930 class picture at Cary Public School, which later became the August Kraus Senior Center.

The proposed plan includes maintaining the historic architectural elements of the site throughout. The existing building would be restored and repurposed to include four apartments, two on each floor. Two new buildings, to be built to match the historical architecture of the existing building, would house three units each.

Enclosed, detached garage spaces would be built to hold ten vehicles. Outdoor spaces would be developed for 11 additional vehicles, Simmons said.

Modifications the developer is requesting include approval as a planned unit development, some relief in density requirements, deeper setbacks and 10 feet between buildings rather than 15, Simmons said.

In June, the developer had proposed the construction of three new buildings, according to reports at the time.

The company has worked on similar projects in the county, including the conversion of Immanuel Lutheran Church and Faith Lutheran High School in Crystal Lake into apartments, and also was chosen by the village of Huntley to redevelop the former Catty Corp. property.

The historic building at 441 West Main Street in Cary was first built in 1888 and was used as a senior center until last year; the future of the site was discussed at a Committee of the Whole meeting on Tuesday, June 21, 2022.