After years of planning and construction, residents have started moving into One Arlington, the luxury apartment tower formerly the Sheraton Hotel next to Arlington International Racecourse.
The tower, which was granted partial occupancy on Oct. 2, is the first phase of the larger $250 million redevelopment known as Arlington Downs. When completed in a few years it will transform the former Sheraton site into a 27-acre "urban campus" with retail, residential and commercial.
So far, about 40 of the 214 units at One Arlington have been leased, said Josh Wohlreich, vice president of development at Stoneleigh Comapnies, which is managing the residential portion of Arlington Downs.
Residents have started moving into units on the first and second floors, as construction is ongoing on the upper levels. One Arlington is expected to be complete by the end of 2014, Wohlreich said.
"We're thrilled," Wohlreich said. "It took us a little bit longer to get to this point, but we're very happy."
When finished, the tower will have an "amenity floor" without residences, with a demo kitchen, a viewing room, a yoga/Pilates room, an 1,800-square-foot fitness center and a 5,000-square-foot outdoor deck overlooking the track with grills, fire pits and telescopes, said David Trandel, CEO of Stonestreet Partners, developer on the Arlington Downs project.
"It will be a real oasis for our residents," said Rick Cavenaugh, president of Stoneleigh Companies, the private real estate firm developing the apartments. "We are creating something of an urban campus in Arlington Heights."
The building will have storage units for every apartment, a dog grooming facility, music recording studio, a bike storage and maintenance facility and commercial laundry facilities.
Almost every unit will have a balcony, while some of the penthouse-level apartments will have multiple balconies or a larger-sized terrace overlooking the area. Each unit will have a washer-dryer and every resident will be guaranteed parking in a garage or on the property.
Developers said most leases will be for 12 months and pricing will be around $1,300-$1,500 a month for studios, $2,000 a month for one-bedroom apartments and $3,000 a month for two-bedroom apartments.
Residents who have moved in are "thrilled with their units," Wohlreich said.
The original Arlington Downs plan called for several residential towers. Wohlreich said officials will start some predevelopment and architectural work on the next tower in 2015.
The next phase of the project includes a new Four Points by Sheraton Hotel with 161 rooms and an expanded water park. Developers have a deal with Wilderness Resorts, which owns resorts and water parks at Wisconsin Dells, to renovate the original water park into one with an additional 10,000 square feet, two more rides and a redesign to gear the park more toward a teenage crowd, Trandel said.
Meanwhile, developers said residents and the community will likely be amazed by the transformation of the old Sheraton Hotel, which closed in 2009, into the new One Arlington.
"There's nothing in this building that is the same as it was when it operated as a hotel," Wohlreich said. "The building was taken down to bare concrete and everything is 100 percent new as if it was a new structure. There's almost nothing you will touch in this that hasn't been redone."
One Arlington is planning a community open house for later this month to reintroduce the building to the community, he said.
"This is a very iconic building in this area. You are hard-pressed to meet a resident of Arlington Heights that doesn't have a fond memory of this building," Wohlreich said. "That's why our tagline, 'An Icon, Awakened,' is very appropriate."