Plans for new hotel resurface in Arlington Heights

 
 
Updated 7/9/2018 5:35 PM
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  • Plans for a 9-story, 62-room hotel attached to the European Crystal banquet hall in Arlington Heights will be reviewed by the village's plan commission Wednesday.

    Plans for a 9-story, 62-room hotel attached to the European Crystal banquet hall in Arlington Heights will be reviewed by the village's plan commission Wednesday. Courtesy of Village of Arlington Heights

The developer behind a previously rejected hotel on the south side of Arlington Heights is bringing back a revised proposal in hopes of winning approval from the village board.

The latest plans, calling for a 9-story, 62-room hotel attached to the European Crystal banquet hall, is the fifth iteration of the concept proposed over the last two years. Previous proposals have called for a building as high as 13 stories and with as many as 160 rooms, while the parking associated with the development -- or lack thereof -- has been a recurring concern of village trustees and staff.

The board rejected a plan for a 12-story, 126-room hotel with 175 parking spaces last November.

Now the developer is introducing a plan with fewer guest rooms but the same amount of parking, making it compliant with village code. The project still requires a land-use variation to allow a hotel in what is a manufacturing zoning district, and a variation for a smaller drive aisle.

European Crystal's owners want to demolish four smaller banquet rooms on the building's north end to make room for the hotel at 519 W. Algonquin Road, helping to boost the slow weekday banquet business. The main banquet hall would remain.

The latest plans will go before the village's plan commission Wednesday night. That panel will make a recommendation to the village board, which is tasked with granting or denying approval.

The new plans already earned positive reviews from the village's conceptual plan review committee, design commission, and staff of the community development department.

An analysis by village staff found that during an estimated peak demand event at the banquet hall and proposed hotel, the facility would need 210 parking spaces, thereby requiring use of neighboring parking lots. European Crystal has agreements with two nearby businesses, Brite-O-Matic and Hand To Shoulder Associates, to use their lots for overflow.

In a memo to plan commissioners, Development Planner Sam Hubbard wrote that the overflow can be managed, provided that the banquet hall keeps those agreements in place.

The ninth floor of the hotel would be used for storage, under current plans, but officials say it could be converted to a gathering space in the future -- which would require additional variation approvals from the village board.

If approved, the hotel could open in 2020.

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