New apartments could come to Fox River Grove, village president says

Village President Robert Nunamaker touted new projects, including potential new apartment buildings, during the village's Business Roundtable on Thursday.

"The vision here is (to) improve the quality of life, and to focus on the river and the parks, which is kind of why we're here ... (and) work on some fiscal responsibility," Nunamaker said.

Nunamaker said he is "cautiously optimistic" that there's going to be apartment buildings in the old lumber yard by the Metra tracks. The exact address would be 401 Algonquin Road, village administrator Derek Soderholm said.

Nunamaker said he expects the property to close with Grove Residences LLC at the end of the month, and the developers are planning to work with the village to obtain permits in early February.

He described the apartments as "high-end," with 100 units. The building would be five stories, with four of them for apartments and a fifth story for underground parking.

"The key in the real estate world is that it’s market rate, which means it’s not subsidized by anything," Nunamaker said. "You sell it or you rent it for what it’s worth."

Nunamaker added that the developer wants to put some workout centers with the apartments.

Additionally, Nunamaker remarked that the streets in Fox River Grove now are in a solid, 20-year refurbishing cycle.

"We have a list and we're moving our way down the list, and all the roads are right where they need to be in the replacement cycle," Nunamaker said.

The budget had a little more money to do that because of last year's statewide gas tax increase, Nunamaker said.

Last year, he said, Fox River Grove's budget was balanced, and they came in 6% under budget.

Nunamaker said he's hoping for the same result this year, and to end up with a little surplus.

During Thursday's roundtable, Nunamaker also addressed one of the village's problems: the police pension.

"You’ve come here before, you’ve heard me talk about police pensions," Nunamaker told the business owners, residents and village officials at the luncheon.

Fox River Grove's police pension fund is underfunded, he said. The village has $4 million in it currently. It's supposed to have $12 million. To combat this, the village has put in $250,000 more than what is required to by law every year. But "much more important" to fixing this, Nunamaker said, is the law signed last month by Gov. JB Pritzker that will consolidate 649 downstate and suburban police and firefighter pension funds into just two.

This will lead to much lower overhead and better returns for the village in the first 4 1/2 years that the law is implemented, Nunamaker said, leading to another million dollars the village will have for its pension fund.

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