The board received a recommendation from the Planning Commission regarding a proposed development located at 5400-5420 Orchard Road. The development is set to be mixed-use, with installments including multiple multi-family units, retail space and either a limited-service restaurant with a drive-through window or an office research space. Current neighboring properties are all zoned for and have office spaces. The developers, Tucker Development, gave a presentation to the board during the meeting.
Father and son Richard and Aaron Tucker spoke about recent developments in nearby communities, as well as how they've been working with staff members for a long period of time and have received a unanimous recommendation of approval from the planning commission. The Tuckers also promised that the project would be environmentally friendly and would include 13 units of affordable housing.
"As my dad shared, he's from Skokie, so we're no strangers to the amazing place that it is," Aaron Tucker said. "Specific to this site, we really love the proximity to the Harms Flatwoods and Harms Woods and the hundreds of acres of open space that it's the residents of this project would be able to have direct walking and biking adjacency to. Obviously, [we] love the interconnectivity to the regional network of our highways, but while being able to live in a very residential setting. As well as of course the proximity to Westfield, Old Orchard Mall, and other nearby opportunities."
The potential drive-through in a residential area was met with some backlash due to the expected pollution that idling cars may cause. Residents were also concerned about the low amount of affordable housing units, as the community has seen an increase in luxury residences, and lower-income Skokie residents felt that they were being pushed out. The board ultimately approved the proposal.