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Article posted: 11/21/2012 8:55 PM

'Upscale' McDonald's crosses hurdle in Lake Zurich

By Bob Susnjara

Lake Zurich plan commission members Wednesday night gave a thumbs-up to what would be a McDonald's with what's pitched as an upscale appearance for part of a retail project at Quentin Road and Route 22.

If constructed, the McDonald's would join anchor Mariano's Fresh Market on the 15-acre site. PNC and Chase banks also are planned for the property.

Described as an "upscale prototype" McDonald's, it would be built of mostly brick with some stone. It would have a double drive-through.

McDonald's Corp. attorney James Olguin said the twin drive-through lanes increase efficiency and are installed at all new restaurants. He said the roughly 4,000-square-foot structure, with a splash of yellow on the walls and extensive landscaping, would be a source of pride for the company and village.

"As you can tell, this is a really fantastic building," Olguin said to the plan commission.

Plan commissioners voted 8-0 in favor of granting a special-use permit that McDonald's needs to build. The panel's recommendation will go to the Lake Zurich village board, which has the final say.

Commission members agreed to let McDonald's have an electronic message sign, but conditions were attached. No flashing or video graphics would be allowed on the board.

Village trustees in July approved the 74,000-square-foot Mariano's and the banks for what's called Bradford Town Crossing.

Chicago-based Bradford Real Estate Cos. came before the plan commission because it needs to amend its agreement with the village to add McDonald's into the project at the northwest corner of Quentin and Route 22 near Harvest Bible Church.

In October, trustees viewed a presentation regarding the McDonald's by Bradford founder Steve Pagnotta and agreed the company could proceed to the advisory plan commission.

Bradford is the contract purchaser of the land and intends to begin clearing trees if the deal closes by year's end. Plans call for the Mariano's to open in January 2014, with the banks and McDonald's following a similar time frame.

"I think the development is well done," plan commission member Angela Stefaniu said. "I think the McDonald's addition is well designed."

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