10-story hotel plan in Arlington Heights raises parking questions

 
 
Updated 8/16/2016 5:52 AM
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  • The owners of European Crystal Banquets on Arlington Heights' south side appeared before the village board tonight with a proposal to remove a portion of the facility to clear the way for construction of the 10-story, 165-room Ivy Hotel at 519 W. Algonquin Road.

    The owners of European Crystal Banquets on Arlington Heights' south side appeared before the village board tonight with a proposal to remove a portion of the facility to clear the way for construction of the 10-story, 165-room Ivy Hotel at 519 W. Algonquin Road. Courtesy of Village of Arlington Heights

  • The owners of European Crystal Banquets on Arlington Heights' south side appeared before the village board tonight with a proposal to remove a portion of the facility to clear the way for construction of the 10-story, 165-room Ivy Hotel at 519 W. Algonquin Road.

    The owners of European Crystal Banquets on Arlington Heights' south side appeared before the village board tonight with a proposal to remove a portion of the facility to clear the way for construction of the 10-story, 165-room Ivy Hotel at 519 W. Algonquin Road. Courtesy of Village of Arlington Heights

The owners of an Arlington Heights banquet hall will have to find somewhere to put more than 100 more parking spaces if they hope to be approved for a plan to build a 10-story, 165-room hotel on their property.

On Monday, owners of European Crystal Banquets, 519 W. Algonquin Road, appeared before the village board for early review of their plan to build the Ivy Hotel, which would be attached to their banquet hall.

Under village code, the plan would need 461 parking spaces for the combination hotel and banquet hall, but the proposal includes only 151 -- 67 percent fewer than mandated.

Several trustees said they were excited about the idea but worried about the parking.

"This sounds like a great project, but I would feel a lot more comfortable knowing there was a contingency plan for overflow parking," said Trustee Thomas Glasgow.

According to a memo to village trustees, the banquet hall's owners believe the hotel will be busy primarily Mondays through Thursdays with business travelers, while the banquet hall is busy Friday through Sunday. As a result, they believe the two uses will not create demand for parking at the same time.

Previously, the village board has approved parking variations for hotels, such as the nearby DoubleTree Chicago Arlington Heights, which operates with about 33 percent fewer parking spaces than code requires, but none with so large of variance, said Charles Perkins, director of community planning and development.

"I think a boutique hotel is a wonderful attraction in the hotel district," said Trustee Carol Blackwood. "But it's going to be very tight, and the opportunity for growth is really limited."

John Connor, attorney for European Crystal, said the owners are in negotiations with Pace suburban bus service to use the parking lot at its headquarters across the street for overflow parking. But some trustees said they were concerned about safety because of the low walkability of the area and the busy traffic on Algonquin Road.

"Sometimes land is just too small or sometimes the land doesn't fit our dreams," said Trustee Joe Farwell. "That could be the case here."

The petitioners said they would feel more comfortable if they could come up with a total of 250 to 270 parking spots for the site by the time they formally apply for a variance with the village.

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