Originally published in Shaw Local’s Northwest Herald on March 3, 2021.

A new 280-unit apartment complex behind the Walmart in Crystal Lake is on track to start pre-leasing this year. Called the Springs at Three Oaks, the apartment complex at 1131 Central Park Drive features a clubhouse with a pool, workout facilities, two dog parks, outdoor grills, a fire pit, community gathering area, and parcel lockers. City staff projects the first apartment building will be completed this spring, said the city’s assistant city planner, Kathryn Cowlin.

“It’ll be a nice little development back there,” Cowlin said.Continental Properties, a real estate developer based in Wisconsin, broke ground right before the ground froze in fall and the project has been constructed over the winter season. The entire development should be completed by next year, Cowlin said. “Right now, they’re still working on the clubhouse,” Cowlin said. “That’s the first building that you see when you pull into the property, and they’re currently working on one of the residential buildings.”

A spokesman with Continental Properties said pre-leasing on the apartments should start in May. Something that makes the complex unique is that it is in a gated community, Cowlin said.

“Residents have that extra level of security that only the residents of the units can enter into the property,” she said. “Guests will be parking at the clubhouse and checking in there before entering the property.”

Developers are eyeing a mix of renters moving into the property, Cowlin said, from those who are looking to rent before starting a family to seniors. “It’s not restricted, so it’s open to anyone,” Cowlin said.

The Springs at Three Oaks will offer apartments of various sizes, from studio to three-bedroom units with decks or patios attached to each unit, the company said in a news release. The apartment community is designed to create neighborhoods with townhome-style apartments and park-like settings.

The Crystal Lake City Council first approved the apartment complex last summer after it had previously had been recommended in a 5-0 vote by the Crystal Lake Planning and Zoning Commission. The property had originally been granted a preliminary planned unit development for 600 townhome units on a full 67 acres, and the approval also was granted through an annexation agreement that is valid through 2025.

Continental Properties will only be developing the 280 apartment units, Cowlin said. The remainder of the lot has a general allowance of 320 townhomes.

Some parties looking at that property, Cowlin said, but right now, the city doesn’t have anyone specific for that part of the lot.

Read the full Northwest Herald story here.