DeKALB – ShoDeen is once again proposing an apartment complex and hotel along Lincoln Highway.
The company plans to demolish its 13 vacant houses on property it owns along Lincoln Highway, Pearl Street and Anne Street and wants to build a 187-unit, five-story apartment complex and a 128-room, four-story Marriott Spring Hill Suites hotel on its 4.5-acre site.
Both buildings would front Lincoln Highway, with the apartments directly east of Pearl Street and the hotel next to those, said Dave Patzelt, ShoDeen construction president.
“The plan coming forward is a mixed-used development,” he said. “The hotel would bring visitors to downtown DeKalb.”
He added that having the apartments close to the downtown area also would bring residential support to the retail, restaurant and entertainment venues in DeKalb’s downtown area.
ShoDeen brought forward similar development plans in 2008 and 2014, but nothing has materialized thus far. The hotel conference center proposed in 2014 would cost up to $36 million to build, which seemed unfeasible to city staff.
Patzelt declined to give an estimate of what this project would cost, but said ShoDeen would again be seeking to discuss potential financial assistance with the city.
The property is located in the city’s central area tax increment financing district, but no economic incentive agreements have been proposed so far.
“We haven’t gotten that far yet,” he said.
The first story of the apartment building would be a parking garage, with access off Pearl Street, said Derek Hiland, principal planner for the city of DeKalb.
DeKalb’s Planning and Zoning Commission will consider the request Wednesday. Commission members will need to take into account land use, density, parking requirements and land-use policy. A planned-unit development agreement likely would be needed to move forward on the plan, Hiland said.
The city’s downtown revitalization plan of 2007 and the 2013 city center plan indicate that the space would be good for mixed-use commercial development, which typically looks like commercial space on the first and second floor of a building with office and residential space above, Hiland said.
“So, having a straight apartment building without commercial space on the first floor is an area to consider,” he said.
Parking would be another potential concern. ShoDeen proposes 464 parking spaces around the hotel and on the first floor of the apartment whereas the city code would require 686, based on unit and room count, Hiland said.
Density is another issue. Current ordinances limit new development to 12 units per acre, but the plan ShoDeen proposes works out to be about 37 units an acre with 187 apartment units on 4.5 acres of land. Hotel rooms aren’t counted toward net density, Hiland said.
“From a planning perspective, it’s good to put the highest density downtown,” Hiland said. “That density isn’t unforeseen elsewhere in the community. It’s not a surprise because we’re in a college town.”
ShoDeen would like to move forward as quickly as possible. If DeKalb’s City Council members approve the demolitions Monday, the company would begin demolishing the following week, Patzelt said.
“The homes have been vacant for several years,” he said. “Hopefully, the buildings coming down and having a project proposed would act as an impetuous to have the project move forward.”
If you go
WHAT: DeKalb Planning and Zoning Commission meeting
WHEN: 6 p.m. Monday
WHERE: DeKalb Municipal building, 200 S. Fourth St, DeKalb