Wilmette Cares invites you to be our guest for a Special Screening of its new video:
Embracing Our Diversity-Preserving Our Heritage-
Keeping Our Promises
Sunday, February 22, 3-4:30 p.m.
Wilmette Public Library, 1242 Wilmette Avenue, Wilmette, IL
Sunday, March 1, 3-4:30 p.m.
The Mallinckrodt Community Center, 1041A Ridge Road, Wilmette, IL
Video, Refreshments, and Discussion on Affordable Housing in Wilmette
Video made possible by Sally Mead Hands Foundation
Wilmette residents: Check our Petition page for details about how you can urge the Village of Wilmette to ensure that at least a portion of the planned 90+ “luxury” rentals at 611 Green Bay Road can be set aside for lower income individuals and families.
Please note: If you make comments below, these will show up on our blog. But a comment here is not a signature on the petition. To sign the petition you must go to Change.org at Petition page
Wilmette Cares is planning several Open Forums to discuss the growing need for affordable and accessible housing in our village. Our Open Forums provide persons who live or work in Wilmette the opportunity to learn about our housing issues and to participate in joint problem solving in a respectful and relaxed environment. There is a wealth of talent in our community, so we are eager to hear your questions, concerns, and ideas. Check back soon for the Fall-Winter schedule.
A September 5, 2014 article in the online edition of Wilmette Life reports that M&R Development has agreed to purchase the site at 611 Green Bay Road where it intends to construct a six-story mixed-use development with about 94 luxury apartments above first floor retail space. M&R will pay $4.1 million for the property and, in addition, has agreed to donate $80,000 to Wilmette’s Housing Assistance Program (HAP).
Wilmette Cares enthusiastically welcomes M&R Development’s contribution to HAP. In fact, we have encouraged Village officials to enact a one-time fee for all new developments or redevelopments as a source of funding for HAP. The Village’s solicitation for this donation is in keeping with the model we have proposed.
However, the need for affordable housing in Wilmette is only growing. Given the limited real estate available for multi-family developments, it is critical that the Village work aggressively with developers to include affordable units in all of these projects. M&R has declined to include affordable housing at the 611 Green Bay site asserting that the premium price for the real estate makes it economically unfeasible to include even moderately-priced units. At the same time, the Village’s 2004 and 2007 reports on the need for affordable housing expressly recommend that future affordable units be concentrated in or adjacent to the Village Center, so as to provide easy access for seniors and persons with disabilities to transportation, retail, and other services. In addition, these reports make a commitment to include 15% affordable units in all new development or redevelopment of multi-family properties.
Wilmette is indeed a wealthy community located on prime real estate. So, yes, it is challenging to attract new housing that is profitable for developers while providing affordable housing for our growing population of seniors and young adults with disabilities. But It will not do for either our residents or our Village officials to throw up our arms in defeat. Our Village has more than material affluence. We enjoy a wealth of talent, expertise, and good will. Through our upcoming Open Forums, Wilmette Cares will provide numerous opportunities for our community to engage in shared problem-solving and cultivate the political will to resolve the dilemma that our booming real estate creates for our vulnerable residents.
We must see stronger leadership from the Board of Trustees. It is a long road between a tentative agreement and the actual groundbreaking. Wilmette Cares will continue to reach out to Trustees, Village officials, and M&R representatives in order to explore solutions that are beneficial to all parties. You can get involved by participating in our forums and by attending public hearings on the proposed development at 611 Green Bay Road. It is especially important that you attend the Board of Trustees meeting on Tuesday, September 23 at 7:30 pm at the Village Hall, when the Trustees will vote to approve the agreement with M&R. Your voice matters only when you make yourself heard.