Des Plaines council tentatively approves hotel plan

A plan to construct a 107-room, five-story hotel on Higgins Road in Des Plaines successfully cleared an important municipal hurdle Tuesday.

Developers want to build a Homes2 Suites by Hilton hotel near the 1700 Higgins Centre office building at 1700 W. Higgins Road.

An Australian real estate company 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 and is part of the current development plan for the entire site.

Mariner Higgins Centre has requested the city council agree to allow the proposed hotel to replace the restaurant in the development plan.

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

The city council tentatively agreed to both proposals Tuesday with a pair of uncontested votes. Sixth Ward Alderman Malcolm Chester was absent.

In a separate but related vote, the council tentatively agreed to expand the borders of a special tax zone to include the proposed hotel and other property. The move would allow Des Plaines to collect more revenue from room usage and parking fees.

The tax rate on hotel and motel rooms in the special zone is 11%. It's 7% anywhere else in the city.

The tax on commercial parking in the zone is $1 per car, per day.

Fifth Ward Alderman Carla Brookman called expanding the zone "prudent," considering the Hilton hotel proposal.

Final votes are expected Sept. 20.

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

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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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