Community meeting

Koplar, Albion Host Community Meeting on the Albion West End project

Tonight Koplar Properties and Albion Residential, along with architectural firm Hartshorne Plunkard, hosted a community engagement meeting regarding the proposed Albion West End development at Lindell and Kingshighway. The event took place at Chase Park Plaza.

More than 120 attendees attended the event at the Chase’s famous Khorassan Ballroom to hear about the proposal and ask questions. This post is intended to provide notes for those who did not attend the meeting, and how you can submit your own questions and comments.

DEVELOPMENT TEAM PRESENTERS

Sam Koplar – Properties of Koplar

Andrew Yule – Residential Albion

Paul Allesandro – Hartshorne Plunkard

DEVELOPER PRESENTATION

  • Moderated by Jim Dwyer, Chairman of the Central West End Committee.

  • Overview of Koplar family history, including a mention of how the first generation of Koplar, Sam, developed the Chase Park Plaza.

  • Andrew Yule of Albion Residential explained how this site was chosen. Mentioned how his team initially looked at Clayton before landing on this property and felt like it was a perfect fit. Andrew explained that his company holds long-term investments and builds high-quality buildings that are built to last and become an icon for neighborhoods. He went on to mention how the Central West End reminds him of Evanston and Oak Park near Chicago (which is Albion’s home base).

  • Andrew Yule says the 10,000 square foot lobby will be open to the public during set business hours. This will allow the neighborhood to have a community lounge where people can meet, have coffee, use wifi, etc.

  • Andrew Yule says public feedback is key to making it a great addition to the neighborhood. It encourages comments.

  • A variance is being sought to allow the building to sit just yards from the Kingshighway sidewalk to create the plaza. Current zoning rules require the building to be built up to the sidewalk.

  • The art in the square will consist of mosaic tiles. The plaza will also be activated in several ways (outdoor seating, guitarist, etc.).

  • The bus stop will be rebuilt and slightly moved.

  • Paul Allesandro of Hartshorne Plunkard explained the design of the buildings and the features it will include. This includes plaza level artwork on Kingshighway, a rear retention garden and bird friendly glass.

COMMUNITY FEEDBACK

  • Concerns have been raised about the use of a property tax allowance on several occasions.

  • St. Regis condo neighbors wanted this construction process to be better than what happened at 100 Above the Park (including trying not to close the driveway, setting construction deadlines, and cleaning up) . St. Regis neighbors also hoped the trash pickup and move-in/move-outs were better than at 100 Above the Park.

  • A traffic study has been carried out. Mentioned that there would be a negligible increase in traffic on all surrounding roads as a result of this project.

  • Some members of the public hoped the square would be inviting. The artwork was brought up and a comment was made on how 1% of the cost of the project should be spent on iconic public artwork.

  • A question was asked about how it breaks the infamous “Delmar Divide”. The answer given was that as the mid-west became more expensive, development moved north and south. What is happening now in Delmar and Euclid/Walton by Kevin Bryant’s team is proof of that and the future of the Fountain Park neighborhood.

  • A comment on the cover of mechanical elements on the roof has been made. The developers and architect mentioned that, unlike One Hundred, the mechanical elements on the roof would be covered.

A few other miscellaneous things to note that are of interest to readers of this blog and neighbors in general.

  • 293 apartments

  • 365 parking spaces (some will be public)

  • 154 bicycle parking spaces

  • 30-story tower slightly shorter than the roofline of 100 Above the Park

  • A rainwater retention garden will be included at the rear of the building

  • The project must be green building certified

  • Bird-friendly glass

  • Bike and car sharing program (to allow residents to leave their cars behind)

  • 400% increase in property tax compared to the current amount

  • Creation of 450 unionized construction jobs throughout the construction period (26 months)

  • $37 million in minority and women-owned labor contracts

  • Professional training partnerships will be provided

  • Local business partnerships to generate revenue for local dining and retail options

  • Tax relief will be requested.

For more information on the project, visit this site: 4974 Lindel

The gallery below includes photos from tonight’s event.

February 23, 2022: Koplar Properties unveils 30-story tower at Lindell and Kingshighway