Barrington officials believe a new mixed-use development that includes luxury apartments, restaurants and storage for high-end and classic cars offers a golden opportunity to redevelop the village’s “Golden Triangle.”
Barrington resident Joe Taylor, CEO of Compasspoint Development, is proposing a four-story mixed-use building at has plans for 200-300 North Hough Street in the village’s downtown. The plan includes 125 apartments, 12,000 square feet of restaurant/retail space, and 37 car condominiums.
It means a complete overhaul of the 6.2-acre site, with the installation of utilities, parking, landscaping, lighting, signage, walkways, bicycle parking and a pedestrian esplanade along Hough Street.
After a positive recommendation Tuesday from the village’s plan commission, the plan heads to the village board for possible final approval.
Jennifer Tennant, Barrington’s assistant director of development services, said the project meets the planning goals and objectives of the village’s comprehensive plan.
“This has been a redevelopment site for the village since the early 90s,” she told the commission.
The site includes all the remaining property in the Golden Triangle area south of Liberty Street, which encompasses the former Market Center building and a former Volvo dealership.
“This site is uniquely located in the village,” she said.
While centrally located, the site also is isolated because of its placement between the Union Pacific and Canadian National railroad tracks.
The 12,000 square feet of restaurant space also represents a rare opportunity for the village.
“This will allow for new, modern and larger restaurant concepts,” Tennant said.
Taylor said there will be “an integrated lobby, just like a boutique hotel” in the building. Off the lobby will be a full-service restaurant that he will likely own and operate. The restaurant will not replicate what already exists downtown Barrington, such as Italian cuisine or sushi, he said.
Possible candidates for other retail space could include a wine bar or a goods and sundries store.
Although the plan commission gave its endorsement, the proposal received criticism from a resident who lives down the block on Hough Street.
Bill Hartman said he objects to the height, saying the four stories goes against Barrington’s values of low density, controlled growth and open space.
“This is high-density, multifamily housing. It’s kind of the opposite of what we’re all supposed to be about,” he said. The height, he said, should be limited to three stories.
“Yeah, it’s four stories, not three. (But) it looks fantastic,” Plan commission member Robert Windon responded. “If it was nine stories instead of three, I wouldn’t be recommending we approve it.”
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