Hilton hotel poised for approval on Des Plaines' south side

A plan for a $7.5 million Hilton hotel on Des Plaines' south side could get an important go-ahead from the city council next week.

Developers are eying land near the 1700 Higgins Centre office building at 1700 Higgins Road for the hotel. It would be a Homes2 Suites by Hilton operation, city documents indicate.

Plans call for a five-story, 64,760-square-foot building with 107 guest rooms.

An Australian real estate outfit called Mariner Higgins Centre owns the nearly 6-acre property. It wants to sell about an acre on the southeast side to a different developer for the hotel.

A free-standing restaurant had been envisioned for that acre. If the hotel plan progresses, the restaurant concept will be eliminated. The office building - home to Colonial Life, Colliers and other tenants - would remain.

Mariner Higgins Centre has requested the city council amend an existing development plan for the site to allow the hotel's construction.

The entire site contains nearly 400 parking spaces, and the hotel's construction would require parking areas to change, documents show. A 34,658-square-foot garage with 207 spaces is proposed for the property's northwest side.

Mariner Higgins Centre wants to purchase a 1,821-square-foot section of undeveloped land along Webster Avenue from Des Plaines for the proposed garage.

The Webster Avenue land serves as a drainage area for the property and the nearby Jane Addams Memorial Tollway. The land is worth $25,000, documents indicate.

The council could tentatively approve both requests with a single vote Tuesday. Final votes are expected Sept. 20.

In related action, the council will consider expanding the borders of a special tax zone to include the proposed hotel. That would allow Des Plaines to collect additional revenue from room usage and parking fees there.

"(It) would likely generate tens of thousands of dollars in additional revenue per year," Des Plaines Economic Development Manager John T. Carlisle said in a recent memo.

Any excess parking spaces at the hotel and parking garage could be repurposed for commercial parking and generate even more tax for the city, Carlisle said.

The triangular tax zone now is bounded by Mannheim Road, Higgins Road and the Canadian National Railway line. The proposal would expand the zone east of the tracks between Higgins Road and the tollway, resulting in a boomerang-like shape.

In August 2020, officials in neighboring Rosemont scrapped a plan to sell Mariner Higgins Centre land it owns at 1738 Higgins Road for the project. The company wanted the land for parking, but Rosemont backed out after learning plans changed from a restaurant to a hotel.

At the time, Rosemont Mayor Brad Stephens called the O'Hare hotel market "oversaturated." Conversely, Des Plaines Alderman Carla Brookman has said the site is "an ideal location for a hotel."

Tuesday's council meeting is set for 7 p.m. at city hall, 1420 Miner St. The meeting can be viewed live online at

The council and the Cook County Board are considering a property tax incentive for the development, too. The council is expected to vote on that aspect of the plan Sept. 20.

The issue hasn't yet been placed on a county board agenda.

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The proposed site of a Homes2 Suites by Hilton hotel and new parking garage at 1700 Higgins Road in Des Plaines. Courtesy of City of Des Plaines
An office building at 1700 Higgins Road in Des Plaines will remain if a hotel is built nearby, city documents indicate. A parking garage could be built, too. Courtesy of Des Plaines, 2019
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