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Long-Awaited Lake Forest Residential Development Gains Final Approval

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The plan calls for a mix of apartments, condos, and single-family homes

Northfield-based Focus Development has cleared the final bureaucratic hurdle necessary to move forward on its multi-phased residential project proposed for the northern edge of suburban Lake Forest’s central business district. In the works since 2007, the development — dubbed Kelmscott Park — will see 111 luxury apartment units, 42 condominiums, and 12 single-family homes replace the vacant public works site at Laurel and Western that formerly stored municipal utility vehicles.

Located just steps from shopping, dining, and the Metra commuter rail line, Kelmscott Park also features a series of interconnected pocket parks and will set aside more than 50 percent of the site’s 10.7 acres for open space. Penned by Chicago’s Booth Hansen to evoke the English Arts and Crafts style, the plan’s architectural language is consistent with the brick, neo-Tudor aesthetic that is prevalent throughout much of downtown Lake Forest.

Despite objections from a handful of locals concerned about density and traffic, the plan passed the city council by a healthy 7-1 margin, according to Daily North Shore. Kelmscott’s first phase of six single-family homes, the apartment building, and one condominium structure will begin construction this fall with the entire project expected to be completed by July of 2019. The development will bring an estimated $1.5 million in additional taxes to the Lake Forest village coffers.