WILMETTE – Affordable housing developer Housing Opportunity Development Corporation (HODC) plans to hold a series of community meetings in September to present a revised plan for 1925 Wilmette Avenue, the former site of American Legion Post 46.
“We revised the plan to hopefully make it more acceptable to people,” Richard Koenig, executive director of HODC told DailyNorthShore.com. Koenig acknowledged that the new plan may not please everybody, but he was hopeful the community would be receptive.
HODC drew criticism from several Wilmette residents when a proposal for a three-story, 20-unit, affordable housing building was submitted to the Wilmette Plan Commission in November 2015. HODC purchased the building from American Legion Post 46 in June 2015 for $464,000.
Residents objected to HODC’s plan — which included 20 one-bedroom and studio affordable rentals — complaining the project would lower property values, cause congestion and did not set aside units specifically for seniors or families.
In response, HODC withdrew its application in mid-November and held a series of community meetings through January 2016, seeking feedback from residents, as well as answering questions about the development. Over the summer, HODC rented the building to Actors Training Center, the local theater group.
Koenig said he was not ready to reveal what the revised plan entails, but he said information would be shared at the September meetings.
“Our goal is to build a residential rental building and we tried to incorporate some factors that people talked about at the meetings,” he said. While Koenig acknowledged that some residents did not want HODC to build any affordable housing, the nonprofit remains on that course.
HODC plans to present the revised plan to the community, before it submits an application to the village through the Planned Unit Development process, Koenig said.
Once the dates and times of the September community meetings are confirmed, that information will be posted on HODC’s website and on the village website.
For more information about HODC go to www.hodc.org.