Added competition for nearby non-profits and a lack of affordable housing are two sore spots for a group of Northbrook stakeholders concerned about an 18-acre development planned for construction on Skokie Boulevard.
The project will feature a high-end, 93,000-square-foot Life Time Fitness and an enormous children’s facility and playground about the same size. Developers are eligible for a tax break on the land, which officials originally intended for retail purposes including a Walmart Supercenter and potentially a car dealership.
Officials projected a store like Walmart would bring the Village about $1 million a year in tax revenue; the current proposed uses would bring in about $12,000, according to the planner’s financial impact study.
The property will also be home to a four-story, 338-unit luxury rental building with nearly 600 parking spots and a long list of amenities.
In addition to increased competition for area non-profits like the YMCA, JCC and Northbrook Park District who also offer fitness and childcare/camp options, the project does not account for any affordable housing considerations, with monthly rent ranging from $1,605 to $2,800.
Since 2010, the percentage of affordable housing in the Village has dropped, explained Gail Schechter, who heads Winnetka-based housing group Open Communities. Schechter spoke at the July 7 hearing, reminding officials and attendees of Northbrook’s commitment to fair housing as part of its recent comprehensive plan.
The next hearing is scheduled for 7:30 p.m., Aug. 4 at Village Hall.