An Arlington Heights office building could be transformed into a school for hundreds of students by spring of next year, officials said.
ITT Technical Institute is working with the village of Arlington Heights on a lease for 25,000 square feet of office space at 3800 N. Wilke Road, said John Melaniphy, business and development coordinator for the village. The lease has not been signed, but ITT Tech appeared before the village's plat and subdivision committee to start the approval process.
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The school would move from its location at 1401 Feehanville Drive in Mount Prospect, where it has been since 2000.
The executive director at ITT Tech's Mount Prospect campus was not available for comment.
While the lease will be good for the village and reduce office vacancy rates, Melaniphy said the move will have a broader effect.
"They attract about 500 students a day, which would have both direct and indirect economic impact on the village," he said. "They will spend dollars in our restaurants, our shopping centers, our gas stations and our businesses."
The deal has been in the works for eight months and Melaniphy said that the village was first approached by ITT Tech for the move since they usually do not "poach" neighboring suburbs for businesses.
The high-rise building on the north side of Arlington Heights is a multi-tenant office building owned by First American Properties.
The building is zoned M-1, so it will require a land use variation to be used as a school and ITT Tech will need to do some internal work to prepare the offices as classrooms.
ITT Tech could be in the building by early spring 2013, once they get approval from the plan commission and village board.
"The location will give ITT Tech a broader regional appeal because of the proximity to Route 53," Melaniphy said. "We're very excited to attract such a big name to the village."
ITT Tech has 140 locations in 38 states with other Illinois locations in Oak Brook, Orland Park and Springfield.
With 4 million square feet of office space in the village, the ITT Tech deal won't make a major difference in the office vacancy rate -- 18 percent in Arlington Heights -- but Melaniphy said it's another good sign for the recovering economy.
"We come a long way since 2008 and 2009. Given the economic headwinds we've been facing, we've been very fortunate," he said, citing a few other positive pieces of business news for the village this fall.
Melaniphy added that finding tenants for the vacant theater in downtown Arlington Heights, the Wellington and the former Yanni's restaurant are still among the village's top priorities.