Senior community, commercial development planned for former Sabre Room site

Daily Herald Business Ledger Report
Updated 11/8/2017 12:17 PM
  • The Shops of Sabre Woods is one component of a new senior living/commercial development on the site of the former Sabre Room in Hickory Hills.

    The Shops of Sabre Woods is one component of a new senior living/commercial development on the site of the former Sabre Room in Hickory Hills. Photo courtesy of DeBat Media, Inc.

The site of the iconic Sabre Room banquet and concert venue in Hickory Hills will become a 30-acre senior residential, retail and commercial development at 8900 W. 95th St.

The project, called Sabre Woods, is a public-private partnership with the city of Hickory Hills. The city council recently approved special-use zoning for Sabre Woods, development consultant Charles Cornelius of CR Development said.

Plans for Sabre Woods Senior Village call for a four-story building containing approximately 161 independent-living rental apartments, 40 assisted-living spaces and 35 memory-care units, with parking for more than 200 cars.

Approximately 35 single-family and duplex homes would be built by other developers on an adjoining parcel. The homes would be designed for residents age 55 years and older who prefer to own a single-family dwelling, the developers said.

Zoning would also allow for an alternate plan on the 2-acre duplex site that permits as many as 84 senior apartment units in two 3-story buildings.

"When completed, the community will attract 250 to 300 residents age 55-and-older," Cornelius said.

Developers of Sabre Woods recently started marketing 13 zoned land parcels to other developers for senior residential, retail and commercial land sites. Four major land lots totaling 12.5 acres for senior housing already have been sold.

"The area includes a parcel that has been reserved for a 2-story commercial/retail building on 88th Avenue and 95th Street that would house medical offices and outpatient services and feature an adjoining pond," Cornelius said.

The Shops of Sabre Woods, a commercial and retail phase planned along 95th Street, consists of five parcels of land for 2-story buildings. Smaller out-lots are designed for convenience quick-serve operations.

"These lots are half-acre or larger and are perfect sites for commercial offices and major restaurants with ample parking, and quick-serve locations with drive-through possibilities on a high-traffic commercial street," said Santo Rizzo, the Coldwell Banker sales and marketing agent for Sabre Woods.

Cornelius said the development site qualifies for future tax-increment financing (TIF) which would help pay for site work, utilities, streets, sidewalks and curbs, and three man-made ponds for stormwater detention.

The Sabre Room banquet hall was established in 1949 when Arnold and Marie Muzzarelli founded the family-owned business on the site of the luxury Dynell Springs Spa, which dates back to the 1920s. Over the decades, the various banquet rooms hosted wedding receptions, New Year's Eve parties, debutant galas and other celebrations. It also was a popular concert venue for top stars such as Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Tony Bennett and, Liza Minnelli. The facility closed in 2016.

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