Local News

Plans for RiverWalk Homes toned down from 2015 presentation

Evergreen Terrace is shown Feb. 21in Joliet.[]

Plans for RiverWalk Homes presented last week were more modest than what Holsten Companies offered in 2015 when the city was making a final decision on whether to buy what was then still called Evergreen Terrace.

The 356-unit, subsidized apartment complex has been redubbed RiverWalk Homes since the city and its ownership partner took over in September after a lengthy and expensive legal fight against the former private owners.

Recovering those costs was a primary focus of the presentation from Holsten Companies, which now is managing the property for the city and would be the city’s development partner for any changes made to the complex on Broadway.

Gone from the presentation was a “deluxe” redevelopment plan estimated in 2015 to cost $70 million.

The most expensive of the five redevelopment scenarios presented to the city council on June 4 was a $58 million plan that Holsten Senior Development Manager Andrea Keeney suggested not be presented to the public as an option.

“A project of this type couldn’t be done here unless the city was willing to walk away from getting paid it’s $11.4 million,” Keeney told the council.

The $11.4 million is the targeted recovery amount on the $15 million the city paid for Evergreen Terrace. Keeney presented redevelopment options also designed to get back legal fees pegged at $10 million.

Holsten was looking for recommendations from the council on which scenarios to present when public meetings are set up to discuss the future of RiverWalk Homes. The only recommendation they got was from Councilwoman Jan Quillman, who said the $58 million scenario should be presented along with the others.

The public meetings have not been scheduled.

Here are the redevelopment plans presented by Holsten.

• Scenario 1 and 2 both involve demolishing buildings F and G, the apartment buildings on the south end of the property closest to Western Avenue, at a cost of $277,500 and running the remaining 319 apartments as they are now.

• Scenario 3 includes more demolition and a modern rehabilitation of the three remaining buildings and 177 apartments at a cost of $35 million.

• Scenario 4 also retains three buildings but reduces the number of remaining units to 144 with a more extensive gutting and renovation at a cost of $49 million.

• Scenario 5 demolishes all buildings and replaces them with a townhome development comparable to the Water’s Edge development, which replaced the Housing Authority of Joliet’s Des Plaines Garden Homes project, at a cost of $58 million.