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English Rows completion plan nets City Council nod

     This home, in the English Rows neighborhood, is one of the four homes on the Cup of Cheer House Walk.
Photo courtesy of Naperville Garden Club.

This home, in the English Rows neighborhood, is one of the four homes on the Cup of Cheer House Walk. Photo courtesy of Naperville Garden Club.

The English Rows condominium development in southwest Naperville — which until now could be more correctly called English Row — is poised to multiply.

Codifying a collaborative agreement with developer M/I Homes and the homeowners’ group, the City Council this week cleared the way for the multifamily residential development to be built out with a second row of living units, after progress on the condominiums was stalled in recent years with only about one-third of the units completed. English Rows sits on the west side of Route 59, just south of 103rd Street.

The council approved a final resubdivision plan, pending the anticipated endorsement from M/I, that will enable the developer to put up 34 more units on the 3.8-acre site. The new dwellings will be slightly smaller than the existing ones, and will be finished in a slightly different exterior color palette, but proponents say the result will be compatible with the original phase of the development.

Calling English Rows “a hidden gem of Naperville,” attorney Len Monson of the Naperville law firm Kuhn, Heap & Monson emphasized that the project won’t change the character of the architecturally distinctive neighborhood at all.

“This will be a great addition to the city of Naperville,” he said.

Earlier negotiations with the homeowners now living on the property found they wanted better assurance that the developer of the remaining units would help cover the cost of infrastructure upgrades in the future, but those concerns were addressed recently. Deb Tritt, representing the homeowners group, said they had just signed the needed agreements Tuesday morning.

“It was a long, hard process, but the condo association feels that we can now move forward to finish our development, and see that our needs are met also,” Tritt said.

That doesn’t mean the association is thrilled with the final plan, but they can live with it. Tritt noted that while the new townhomes will range from 1,800 to 2,200 square feet, the smallest of the existing residences is 2,200 square feet.

“It’s part A and part B,” she said. “We’re happy to see it finished and we’re happy to see somebody else helping to take care of our lovely gardens.”

Councilwoman Judith Brodhead, who confirmed with M/I land acquisition manager Greg Collins that the developer is on board and will also sign the agreements, seconded the emotion.

“I’m happy to see that you’re all in agreement, and some of these things have been worked out,” she said.

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