Some fifty residents and business owners gathered at Barrington Village Hall on Tuesday, December 4 to hear details on the Hough and Main street development plan.
Bruce Reid, representing Evanston-based developer Arthur Hill and Co. and Mark Hopkins from HKM Architechs of Arlington Heights, clicked through slides in an hour-long presentation. The plan calls for a two-building, retail and office space development called Barrington Village Center be built on the 2.7 acres of land owned by the Village. The buildings will be comprised of approximately 25,000 square feet of retail and up to 30,000 square feet of second and possibly third story office space. Plans for both a two-story and three-story main building were presented.
Kevin Kramer, village planner, followed up with a lengthy presentation, which outline numerous exceptions to village ordinances prescribed for the development. For example, a Barrington ordinance requires that buildings not exceed a height of 52 feet. Including its arched roof, the planned three-story building will stand 65 feet tall.
The estimated $22 million dollar project partially funded by the tax increment financing district (TIF) is not welcomed by all. Many of the local business owners in attendance voiced concerns about increased traffic, lack of parking and the current glut in office space in the village.
"We have yet to see a serious traffic study," said commercial realtor Fred Weinert. "One that takes into account Metra communter traffic on Lake Cook during peak hours."
Mike Miller, owner of Millers Jewelers, expressed his desire for better communications from the Village. "I feel this project was bulldozed through by a few people who don't understand business."
"The use of this project is my concern," said Tower Lakes trustee Mike Rolfs. "With thirty percent office vacancy rates in Barrington, where will they find tenants?"