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updated: 11/12/2012 4:58 PM

Fox Lake officials review new lakefront hotel proposal on Nippersink Drive

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Fox Lake officials will decide Tuesday whether they are interested in selling or leasing undeveloped lakefront land to a developer for a proposed hotel.

Mayor Ed Bender said a developer will present board members with a conceptual plan for a hotel and potential boardwalk on about 4 acres of village-owned property on Nippersink Road, next to the village's Lakefront Park.

Because the site is actually owned by the village, the decision whether to build the hotel would be up to trustees.

Bender said the conceptual presentation will be to gauge feedback, then help the developer to decide whether he should continue pursuing the project.

"We want the board to either bless the project or not in order to determine whether he should move ahead," Bender said. "What trustees will see Tuesday will not be the final product. It will simply be their first introduction to what the developer is proposing."

The meeting will be held at village hall, 66 Thillen Drive, at 6:30 p.m.

Fox Lake building commissioner Frank Urbina, who has been working with architects and the developer on the concept, said the developer is talking about incorporating a restaurant, a possible indoor pool, a beach and a boardwalk in the project.

"Developing that undeveloped portion of the lakefront property has been deemed an important key of Fox Lake's redevelopment success in the comprehensive plan," Urbina said.

Fox Lake has been fighting to bring a hotel to the village for more than a decade, but has struck out each time.

The first hotel was proposed for Route 134 nearly 15 years ago, but developers were unable to secure financing in order to make it happen.

Developers took it one step further about six years ago and cleared land for a proposed hotel on Route 12 downtown. However, work stopped on that property after the developer was sued for not using investor money as intended on the project.

Bender said that proposal has stalled and remains tied up in federal court, while the site remains a blighted property in the center of town.

Bender said hotel developers have always shown interest in Fox Lake because of its Chain O' Lakes location.

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