CARPENTERSVILLE, IL-New multifamily rental development is rare enough in the suburbs. Upscale multifamily rental development in this blue-collar northwest suburb is rarer still.

Having spent more than 18 months working on his Somerset Lake development for 41 acres north of Route 68 and east of the Bonnie Dundee Golf and Country Club, James J. Wozny has to wait at least another month to learn whether his 372-unit, $50-million project meets the approval of the village board.

While Carpentersville has its share of multifamily development, it is hardly comparable to Somerset Lakes proposed by Wozny’s Brook – Ridge Development, Inc., based in neighboring East Dundee. Rents for the 180 one-bedroom units will start at $995 while the 192 two-bedroom units will likely command $1,600 a month rents.

“This is what we consider to be a class-A rental project,” Wozny says. “They’re upscale units. The rents are not cheap.”

If drawings of the 21 apartment buildings appear like town homes, it may be because Wozny has developed the 376-unit Red Top Farms town home development in north suburban Libertyville as well as a 220-unit project in southwest suburban Palos Heights. “They could be (town homes),” Wozny concedes to “But they won’t.”

The site is across the road from East Dundee, just east of a major north-south state route and west of exclusive Barrington Hills, where the smallest single-family house lots are five acres.

“It’s a good location,” Wozny explains to “Our marketing study called for it. Our feasibility study called for it.”

Renters likely will be young professionals and new families, Wozny adds, with about 40 of the units likely to be home to children who would attend classes in an already cash-strapped local public school system. Among other issues, village trustees asked Wozny to come up with a better estimate on the amount of students attending the local schools.

However, the project will pay $554,000 in impact fees to help ease the burdens on the local school system and park district. In addition, a 1.4-acre site will be donated to the park district.

Somerset Lake amenities will include a 4,700-sf clubhouse with gym and meeting room, as well as an outdoor swimming pool. Another water feature, a lake, has raised safety concerns by trustees who suggest it be surrounded by a fence.

The project received a favorable recommendation from the village’s plan commission this summer. However, Wozny says the topography and elongated rectangular shape of the parcel have required extensive engineering work.

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