Construction on Arlington Downs, the massive redevelopment project near Rohlwing Road and Euclid Avenue in Arlington Heights, will begin with the hotel portion next month and the retail buildings next spring.
Developers received approval for a few adjustments to their plan at Monday night's village board meeting and presented a new architectural look for the 27-acre site.
"It's very exciting," Village President Tom Hayes said. "We are looking for great things from this corner."
The changes involve parking counts, eliminating a few entrances and exits, and reallocating square footage, but the project will still include a hotel, a water park, homes, and restaurant and retail components at the former Sheraton hotel site, which closed in 2009.
The design is more contemporary than previously proposed and will include wider sidewalks for outdoor eating and pedestrian access, as well as an outdoor plaza that will be well-lit and used for musical performances at night.
"We didn't want to create a typical environment," said Jeff Funke, of Funke Architects.
Developers will also create a bike and pedestrian path along Euclid Ave and will have decorative horses that look like they are racing along the roadway as drivers pass.
"That is our gesture to the horse track and the identity that we are a part of that and the gateway to Arlington Heights," Funke said.
Four Points by Sheraton will begin construction on a 160-room hotel Dec. 1, Funke said. When the hotel was originally announced developers said it would be open in January 2015, but the project has taken longer than expected.
One Arlington, the apartment tower that opened last year as the first phase of the project, is now nearly 90 percent full, he said.
Funke said developers soon will apply for permits for all six buildings and plan to start construction on one of the retail buildings along Euclid in the spring of 2016.
Funke couldn't say what retailers specifically are in the works, but he said there are several large restaurants, a hair salon and even a movie theater interested.
"What you're creating here is a really neat campus with a lifestyle and an ambience and that is going to draw people in," Trustee Jim Tinaglia said.
Other trustees said the site will become a new destination in Arlington Heights and are looking forward to the project being complete.
"I like the direction you guys are going. I'm looking forward to you getting there," Trustee John Scaletta said. "These are significant improvements. I'd rather it take a little bit longer and get done right than just put up buildings and have a difficult time being successful."