Grayslake may become home to what a developer calls a "country club for cars."
Village board trustees this week gave an informal thumbs-up to a proposal by Premier Auto Estates of Grayslake for what would be a maximum of 175 upscale condominium garages and a 4,500-square-foot clubhouse off Peterson Road across from the Lake County Fairgrounds.
Jack Monco, an Inverness-based commercial real-estate broker, said he hopes construction would begin on roughly 17 acres in the summer if the village board grants final approval to the plan June 5. Grayslake would annex the land in unincorporated Lake County to bring it within the village.
"It's pretty much a country club for cars," Monco said Friday. "That's what our tagline is."
Monco said car collectors in need of nicer space or who have outgrown their home garages would be the clientele.
Under the plan, Premier would be a gated facility with security cameras. Garages, starting at $80,000, would be suitable for visitors and feature heat, fans, painted walls and an 18-foot metal deck ceiling.
Owners would be able to select garage upgrade options including a kitchen, sound system, bathroom and air conditioning. The clubhouse, Monco said, would be large enough for vehicles to be driven inside and available to members for car club meetings, private parties and other entertainment uses.
"It's a lifestyle," Monco said. "These guys get together and they talk about cars."
Monco told Grayslake officials the project would be similar to AutoMotorPlex in the Minneapolis suburb of Chanhassen, which opened in January 2008. AutoMotorPlex has 160 condo garages and a 4,600-square-foot clubhouse available for motor sports events, social gatherings and business meetings.
AutoMotorPlex founder Bruno Silikowski said Friday he took issue with the plans and descriptions for the Grayslake project that he viewed on Premier's website, contending they are too similar to his facility. He stressed AutoMotorPlex isn't affiliated with Premier.
"I'm not impressed at all," Silikowski said.
Monco responded by saying attorneys have assured him he's on sound legal footing by only modeling Premier after AutoMotorPlex. He said he's gleaned ideas through visiting AutoMotorPlex with others from his New London Associates commercial real estate brokerage.
"Our plans are our plans," said Monco, adding he's told Grayslake officials there is no connection between Premier and AutoMotorPlex.
Silikowski said he plans a nationwide expansion of AutoMotorPlex and Barrington is one of the towns being considered.