Plan for 'active adult' apartments in Vernon Hills gets preliminary backing

  • Greystar, a South Carolina-based real estate company, is proposing the redevelopment of property containing the vacant AMC movie theater as an age-restricted luxury apartment community called "Everleigh Vernon Hills."

    Greystar, a South Carolina-based real estate company, is proposing the redevelopment of property containing the vacant AMC movie theater as an age-restricted luxury apartment community called "Everleigh Vernon Hills." Courtesy of Vernon Hills

  • The vacant AMC movie theater building at 555 Lakeview Parkway in the Continental Executive Parke might be the site of a future age restricted luxury apartment community.

    The vacant AMC movie theater building at 555 Lakeview Parkway in the Continental Executive Parke might be the site of a future age restricted luxury apartment community. Paul Valade | Staff Photographer

 
 
Updated 7/22/2020 5:17 PM

A proposal to replace the shuttered AMC Classic Vernon Hills 8 theater south of Route 60 with a luxury apartment community for residents 55 and older has received a preliminary thumbs-up.

The village board on Tuesday informally supported the concept by Greystar, a South Carolina-based real estate company, to redevelop the site at 555 Lakeview Parkway in the Continental Executive Parke.

 

Trustees advanced the plan for more detailed review and a public hearing.

As proposed, Everleigh of Vernon Hills calls for 186 residences: 170-apartments in a 4-story building and 16 single-story cottage duplexes. The 10.8-acre site includes the long-vacant AMC movie theater property and an adjacent 4.6-acre parcel to the southeast.

It would be the first development of its type in Vernon Hills.

According to the company, its active adult communities provide a "vibrant, sophisticated, highly-curated lifestyle" restricted to residents 55 and over.

Greystar describes itself as the largest owner, investor, manager and developer of age-restricted rental residences in the U.S. Its 40 similar communities nationwide include Overture Yorktown in Lombard.

Residents generally are retired or semi-retired, engaged in the community and shop local, according to the company. The Vernon Hills site sits near several commercial areas, including Hawthorn Mall and the Mellody Farm retail/restaurant center.

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"This is sort of a ripe opportunity for infill development and that's very much our bailiwick," said Christine Kolb, Greystar senior director.

She said the company's active adult team crunched the numbers and determined this was the "best site in the country for active adults" based on demographics and other factors.

Greystar has been pursuing the site for nearly two years, according to Yale Dieckmann, the company's managing director.

"We were the losing bidder to another developer that had a different plan, a non-residential plan," he said.

That idea, presented to the village board in June 2018, was to convert the theater to a 24-hour spa. But that plan fizzled, and Greystar re-connected with the theater property owner last fall, Dieckmann said.

Parking is a potential sticking point for the project. Village code requires 2.3 spaces per unit. The proposal calls for 1.47.

"We need to understand better the number of cars that people of this age use in a typical household to assure we have proper parking counts as part of the development," said Mike Atkinson, Vernon Hills' community development director.

Trustee Thom Koch Jr. said the proposal is something the community could use.

"I don't see any reason that we can't find a way to get past some of the concerns because this is, I think, a potentially outstanding product," he said.

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