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Subdivision units up for vote in Algonquin

Published: Sunday, March 3, 2013 5:30 a.m. CDT

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ALGONQUIN – Plote Homes plans to change a development in the village from mostly town homes to a majority of single-family houses.

The Coves III subdivision was approved in 2004 by the village to have 156 town homes. Plote built and sold 19 units, which are occupied, and then the housing market crashed. No other units were built.

Plote wants to build 22 additional town home units to fill in those areas, and then switch the rest of the area to 65 single-family houses, “which they feel will be more marketable in our economic conditions and really benefits the village as well,” village Senior Planner Katie Parkhurst said.

There would be a total of 106 units in the subdivision.

The Village Board is scheduled to vote on the proposal Tuesday.

The houses are planned to be a mixture of ranch-style and two-story. Some houses are planned to be all masonry, some a mixture of masonry and siding and some all siding, Parkhurst said.

“This is very comparable to what is out there in the Coves subdivision in the other single-family portions of that development,” Parkhurst said.

The project area, which is between the current Coves subdivision and Square Barn Road, already has roads built, curb cuts and utilities put in, but some of that will have to be reconfigured, Parkhurst said.

If approved, Ryan Trottier, vice president of land development for Plote, said work is expected to begin in the summer. The subdivision would take three years to build out, he said.

Trottier said at a previous meeting that Plote recently converted subdivisions in Gilberts and Lake in the Hills from town homes to single-family homes, and both developments have seen increased absorption rates.

“Pricing has compressed so much where you can get into a single-family home for $20,000 or $30,000 more than the cost of a new town home,” Trottier said. “The price of a single-family home has come down so much.”

A lot of people who are buying homes right now are 50 and older, Trottier said.

“A lot are looking for the ranch homes to eliminate the steps and so forth,” he said.

Trustee Jerry Glogowski had some concerns about whether the project would be successful.

“There’s so many foreclosures in McHenry County,” Glogowski said. “There’s been a lot of homes, very similar to what you’re proposing, and a lot of those homes ... were valued at $280,000 to $310,000, and those homes now are selling for $240,000.

“I’m trying to figure out if this is going to be a successful project. ... Pricing is everything.”

Trottier said there are competing developments with houses selling between $185,000 and $215,000.

The houses in this development are expected to be 2,500 to 2,800 square feet, according to village documents.

“We think Algonquin can carry a little bit stronger price, [but] we haven’t finalized yet,” Trottier said. “We anticipate to probably start this community around $250,000 on average, maybe a little bit more, and close them at a little over $300,000.”

Town homes in the subdivision have been marketed in the mid-$260,000s, according to the Plote website.

Trottier said the market is improving.

“Other communities have been open for a while, and they get a little stale,” Trottier said. “We’re trying to rebrand this here, start fresh, start new. ... There’s been success with what we built to the north of there. Even there’s a lot of foreclosures and short sales in that area that we’re competing against, those price points haven’t gone below the $275,000 threshold.”

He added having schools nearby will help increase prices.

“We know keeping all town homes will take a very long time to finish up,” Trottier said. “Our goal is to finish the community, finish the improvements, and we think this works today.”

If you go

What: Algonquin Village Board

When: 7:30 p.m. Tuesday

Where: Ganek Municipal Center, 2200 Harnish Drive

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