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Article posted: 8/2/2013 4:43 PM

New site near fairgrounds for sports dome proposal in Grayslake

Grayslake officials plan to tour this sports dome in Rosemont and another in Buffalo Grove. Grayslake has received a sports dome proposal thatís scheduled to go before the advisory plan commission/zoning board of appeals Aug. 19.

Grayslake officials plan to tour this sports dome in Rosemont and another in Buffalo Grove. Grayslake has received a sports dome proposal that's scheduled to go before the advisory plan commission/zoning board of appeals Aug. 19.


George LeClaire | Staff Photographer

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Three entrepreneurs are still pitching the idea of a sports dome in Grayslake, but the site has shifted since the proposal surfaced in June.

Power Alleys Sports Dome has filed an application with the village seeking to build the facility east of Midlothian Road and north of Peterson Road near the Lake County Fairgrounds, according to Grayslake Zoning Officer Kirk Smith. He said the land is owned by the Lake County Fair Association.

Fair officials have long publicly expressed a desire to sell a piece of the association's land. Village Trustee Shawn Vogel said the dome could be viewed as complimentary to the fairgrounds, which has a variety of events throughout the year.

"That's, I think, a good place," Vogel said. "It's on the south end of the village, but it's on a main corridor."

Brothers Kevin and Gregory Belcher, along with former Major League Baseball player Von Hayes, are behind the Power Alleys proposal for Grayslake. Hayes played from 1981 to 1992, mostly as a Philadelphia Phillies outfielder.

In June, Kevin Belcher made an informal presentation before the Grayslake village board on how he wanted to build the 180,000-square-foot, air-supported sports dome on 10 acres off Washington Street near College of Lake County's main entrance.

Grayslake's six trustees raised some questions but agreed they liked the concept enough that it should continue in the approval process and go before the advisory zoning board of appeals.

However, CLC trustees last month approved spending $2.2 million for the 10 acres owned by the Glunz family. CLC Trustee Richard Anderson said the land could be used to grow vegetables and fruit for the school's local food program, as well as sports fields.

Softball and baseball would be Power Alleys' focus. Belcher told Grayslake officials the facility also would have a restaurant and a bar with wine and beer service, along with a fitness facility.

Belcher said Friday his group was made aware of "some possible pushback" from residents near the original site, so some village officials suggested the fair association's property. He said the new 13-acre location would provide good visibility from the busy east-west corridor on Peterson Road.

"We have good momentum right now, but being moved to the new location has put us a bit behind," Belcher said. "It's taken a while to get the information necessary to get our development costs."

To get a better handle on the proposal, Grayslake village board members and representatives from the advisory plan commission/zoning board of appeals are scheduled to tour two suburban golf domes Saturday. Smith said the group will stop at facilities in Buffalo Grove and Rosemont.

Smith said the Power Alleys proposal is scheduled to go before the Grayslake plan commission/zoning board of appeals at 7 p.m. Monday, Aug. 19. That panel would forward a recommendation to the village board, which has the final say on issues.

If Power Alleys gains village board approval, Belcher said, the hope is to break ground in late fall. He said it generally takes 12 weeks for dome fabric to be manufactured, so the target would be having the facility fully constructed by late spring 2014.

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