Developers pitch luxury apartments at old Sheraton in Arlington Hts.

  • In a plan a developer pitches to the Arlington Heights village board Monday night for an "early review," the old Sheraton hotel would be converted into luxury apartments, and another hotel, new stores and more apartments would be built. Plans for the water park seen here are undecided.

    In a plan a developer pitches to the Arlington Heights village board Monday night for an "early review," the old Sheraton hotel would be converted into luxury apartments, and another hotel, new stores and more apartments would be built. Plans for the water park seen here are undecided. Mark Black | Staff Photographer, 2009

 
 
Updated 8/16/2011 4:42 AM

The vacant Sheraton Chicago Northwest will be converted into luxury rental apartments, the new owners told the Arlington Heights village board Monday.

New construction planned for the site includes an extended stay hotel, retail and more apartments.

 

The first phase of Arlington Downs -- 200 to 250 apartments in the old hotel -- is at least 18 months away, said Mark Matthews of the Argent Group, representing the developers.

All new construction would be based on the architecture of the neighboring Arlington Park, he said.

The future of the Coco Key water park, built at a cost of $25 million, is undecided, although the owners are hoping to find a successful operator for it.

The developers appeared before the board under a process called early review where they could get an idea of trustees' responses without any commitment from the board.

Phases after the renovation of the tower building would include the extended stay hotel of at least 108 rooms and retail from 70,000 to 140,000 square feet.

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The owners will also seek out a sit-down restaurant and hope to eventually build more apartments and more hotel rooms on the site.

Trustees were generally supportive, with Joseph Farwell saying the community missed having a banquet hall and John Scaletta saying he has concerns about parking and entrances and wants to see some sales tax generated on the property.

Ted Mandingo, who did feasibility studies for the owners, said banquet halls in Schaumburg mean one here would not be profitable. He also said that if Arlington Park were allowed to install slot machines, the Arlington Downs business plan would not change because most gambling clientele would not stay overnight or even eat in local restaurants.

The village staff is very excited about the project, which would improve a current eyesore, said Charles Witherington-Perkins, director of planning and community development.

Issues from the village's point of view include parking, density, how the project is phased and stormwater retention, he said.

Mayor Arlene Mulder said there was an underlying excitement about the project even though the board does not want to make commitments.