There’s nothing like having a choice in a matter, and that’s exactly what Elmhurst is facing with the plans for the Hahn Street development project. Since 2008, plans for the 10-parcel area facing Hahn and Addison with a York Road-facing retail area have been up in the air, but meetings last week signal that we’re making progress toward a decision.

Beginning on Monday evening, developers took turns presenting their visions for the area. The Morningside and Jupiter Groups were first to offer ideas, both focusing on a combination of high-end, eco-friendly rental housing and retail space. The Morningside Group has a successful track record here in Elmhurst having been responsible for both the Museum Square and the Crescent Court developments. These images are from their Hahn Street Development presentation to the committee.

Tuesday evening saw three more developers – Lincoln Property, Buckingham Companies, and Banner Apartments – present their renditions of the project continuing the theme of sustainable, upscale urban living combined with attractive retail space. Lincoln Property is probably most well known for its transformation of the Ovaltine factory in Villa Park. Buckingham’s plan included space for a community theatre that met with applause from those attending the meeting, and Banner Apartments partner, Doug Farr, literally wrote the book on Sustainable Urbanism.

Aldermen will grade the presentations either at or before the next meeting on September 16, and expect to narrow the field by the following week. From there, a final project vision will be adopted. After five years of indecision, Elmhurst will finally know what this new segment of downtown will look like.

It’s not surprising that we’re talking about development now that the real estate market is back on its feet. The market is a major component of our economy, and its health is directly related to the overall health of our community. It’s great to see lively discussion and negotiation going hand-in-hand with creative thinking and planning. That’s part of what makes Elmhurst such a wonderful place to live and grow.

All of us here at The Gracik Makinney Group are proud to call Elmhurst home, and we’d be happy to help you make it your home, too. Give us a call at 630-441-5570 or stop by the office at 190 North York Street, and let’s make a plan for your new Elmhurst home.