There were 34 Rotarians in attendance this week.  Rocky Flinterman was present, representing our newest corporate member, the Winnetka-Northfield Chamber of Commerce.  Additionally, we had seven guests:  Louise Holland’s were Jan Bawden, Penny Lanphier and Anne Wilder. Tim McCabe’s guest was Connie Yonan; Lee Padgitt brought Bob Kyle, while Patti Van Cleave‘s guests were Gloria Gaschler and Dania Leemputte. 
Patti Van Cleave encouraged members to attend the Chamber of Commerce Recognition Lunch on April 6th where our president, John Thomas, will be honored as “Man of the Year.”  The Winnetka Youth Organization nominated John for his many volunteer activities, both community non-profits and civic.
Heidi Sibert who heads up our Kids Against Hunger program reminded everyone that on Saturday, March 12th we will be packing 100,000 meals.  It will cost $30,000 for the supplies and shipping to get these meals to the children in Nicaragua.  We are very close to having raised the needed finances, but it is not too late to contribute.  Heidi also thanked her committee for their invaluable contributions – Rich Lalley, Kristen Leahy, Mark Kotz, Barb Tubekis, Patti Van Cleave and Gina Sich.
Eric Birkenstein provided some laughs with his contribution in Dig ‘n Grin.
The day’s program was a presentation by a five-person team from One Winnetka, the group that is proposing the development of the former Fell properties on Lincoln and Elm in downtown Winnetka.  Kate Wolf gave the general overall picture of the development.  She indicated that the company wants to work with the village and its residents to achieve the most desirable project possible.  They will be going before the Village Council, which must give the final approval before they can start.  They are hoping to begin work this fall.  The development, which began as a larger building, seven stories high has been significantly reduced in both height and density.
Kate turned the presentation over to Geoff Bird, the young lead designer who grew up in Kenilworth.  He explained the details and history of the project indicating that the building proposed for Lincoln Avenue (west side) started out as 7 stories, 83 feet high, and now is down to 5 stories, 63 feet high, with a penthouse in the middle that extends the height another 7 feet.
The building on the east side of the property, originally scheduled to be six stories, has been reduced to 4 stories.  Thus the height has been reduced by 25%.  The density has been reduced by 41% by going from a proposed 120 residential units to 71 units.  The floor area is over 23,000 square feet below that allowable by current zoning.  The building includes a central motor court and a second floor roof top terrace.
It was pointed out that the developers were not requesting the establishment of a TIF district or any tax deferrals.  In fact, they will contribute over $7 million dollars toward public improvements, such as parking and streetscape planning and development.
One of the goals of the Village was to provide better parking for commuters as well as shoppers.  There will be over 300 underground parking spaces provided divided in three areas – residents, public and commuter.  The commuter area will allow direct access to the inbound Metra train platform.  The project would also include the development of a plaza on Lincoln Avenue; however, there would still be two-way traffic on the street.
Water distribution system upgrades and storm water management have been addressed in the project.  Currently Conney’s Pharmacy is not included in the project, like a missing front tooth, but the developers are very optimistic that they will reach an agreement by helping Conney’s relocate.
The last part of the presentation was under the direction of the lead architect, Lucien Lagrange.  He has been responsible for designing some of the significant building in downtown Chicago.  Lucien presented renderings of the project from several different perspectives.  For more information and details members were invited to drop by the project office at 515 Lincoln Avenue.