AR Building cleared for 204-unit Round Beach Lake housing project

Approval granted in spite of residents concerns with traffic, safety

Round Beach Lake Mayor Scott Nickles and Round Lake Beach aerial view
Round Beach Lake Mayor Scott Nickles and Round Lake Beach aerial view (Google Maps, Village of Round Lake Beach)

Round Lake Beach officials greenlighted AR Building Company’s proposal to build an apartment complex in the north Chicago suburb, despite pushback from local residents.

After three public meetings, the village board approved zoning and other measures, allowing the Pittsburgh-based developer to proceed with a four-building, 204-unit project along the east side of Route 83, the Daily Herald reported

The 10-acre development site sits between Fox Chase Drive and the Sweetwater Crossing strip mall. Round Lake Beach residents, primarily those in the Fox Chase subdivision, which borders the site on the north, have opposed the project due to traffic and safety concerns.

A petition opposing the rezoning of the land was signed by 281 people. Residents were perplexed as to why the apartment complex entry would be off Fox Chase Drive, as it’s already a congested area without a traffic light. Townspeople also attested that there are better locations for the project.

“Government only works correctly when the residents are involved and it’s clear residents are passionate about this development,” Mayor Scott Nickles told the outlet before the vote. “This is an extremely difficult decision for the board, village staff and me, personally. It’s one we do not take lightly.”

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The apartment complex, if completed, will become one of few delivered within this particular patch of the northwest suburbs in recent years. An area that includes much of McHenry County and a western slice of Lake County, where Round Lake Beach is located, had been missing out on new growth due to a lack of new apartment construction, and could have absorbed at least 320 units annually through 2025 without disturbing existing rent growth in the market, according to a 2021 study by Schaumburg-based consultant Tracy Cross & Associates.

AR’s Round Lake Beach complex will comprise 51 one- and two-bedroom units in each four-story building, with rents ranging from roughly $1,600 to $1,900 per month. Amenities will include a clubhouse, pool and dog park.

While Round Beach Lake has seen an uptick in development activity, most of it has stemmed from the commercial realm. AR Building’s development site has received minimal interest, despite being zoned for general commercial uses, the outlet reported.

— Quinn Donoghue 

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