Des Plaines buys land from Rosemont Park District for redevelopment

Updated 12/8/2015 7:16 PM

The Rosemont Park District is selling a 3.6-acre property to Des Plaines that could become part of larger redevelopment plans at the corner of Mannheim and Higgins roads.

The park board approved a $600,000 sale of the property at its meeting Tuesday, and the Des Plaines city council approved its end of the deal Monday on a first reading vote. A final, second reading vote is expected Dec. 21.


City and park district officials have negotiated behind closed doors over a potential sale for months, as the city seeks to redevelop 4.4 acres of adjacent land it owns on the northeast corner of Mannheim and Higgins roads.

The park district-owned land, located within the city limits of Des Plaines, has remained vacant for years. The park district is selling 2.25 acres of land north of Willow Creek, and 1.25 acres south of the creek, while retaining a small tract where a double-faced billboard sits. Keeping the billboard, which faces the Jane Addams Tollway, would allow the park district to retain revenue from a licensing agreement with Outdoor Media.

"This makes sense for everyone," said George Sakas, the city's director of community and economic development. "The park district isn't going to use the land for anything. They're getting a fair price for the property. Hopefully it will go into redevelopment and the city will get property tax and sales tax."

The city is currently negotiating with a developer for a sale of the city's land, where a 150-room hotel, gas station and restaurant are proposed.

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Sakas said the developer may want to buy all or a portion of the now-available park district land in order to expand redevelopment plans. That could mean a bigger hotel, using the extra land for parking, or placement of an additional restaurant.

If the developer doesn't want the new land, the city could sell it to another developer, Sakas said.

The city's plan commission next Monday will consider a petition to rezone the park land from residential to commercial and resubdivide the property into two parcels. The city council will vote on it in January.

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