Developers make updated pitch for huge athletic facility in Lincolnshire

  • An athletic facility to be called The St. James has been proposed for land on Route 22 in Lincolnshire.

    An athletic facility to be called The St. James has been proposed for land on Route 22 in Lincolnshire. rendering Courtesy of Village of Lincolnshire

  • Developer Rand Diamond, left, talks to Lincolnshire officials and a large audience Monday night about a plan to build a 450,000-square-foot athletic facility in town.

      Developer Rand Diamond, left, talks to Lincolnshire officials and a large audience Monday night about a plan to build a 450,000-square-foot athletic facility in town. Russell Lissau | Staff Photographer

 
 
Posted7/31/2018 5:32 AM

The developers behind a plan to build a 450,000-square foot athletic facility in Lincolnshire returned to village hall Monday night to pitch a revised version of their proposal.

The facility, to be called The St. James, is proposed for land that's north of Half Day Road and west of the Tri-State Tollway. Chicago-based developer GlenStar Properties wants to build the facility as well as a hotel, a restaurant and a commercial recreational facility on the 43-acre property.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

But the audience during Monday's public hearing consisted of more than trustees and the usual village staffers. Developers also had to contend with more than 100 residents concerned about the aesthetics of the proposed complex and the potential impact on traffic.

"I don't trust these people," said Kay Malek, who lives in the nearby Sutton Place neighborhood. "We don't need this."

The St. James was the focus of Monday's discussion. The two-story center would have an indoor Olympic-sized pool, sports fields, ice rinks, a health club, a restaurant and many other amenities.

The site now is a mostly unused office complex.

Michael Kerin, director of development for the Virginia-based St. James, spent some time Monday night promoting a planned indoor water park that would feature slides, spray fountains "and everything that kids love to do."

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The business "is going to be a tremendous asset" for Lincolnshire, Kerin said.

GlenStar managing principal Rand Diamond spoke about the plan Monday, too.

Seeking to address some residents' concerns, Diamond said The St. James would have a "minimal" impact on traffic. He also said he and his team used a flying drone to ensure the St. James building, despite the enormous footprint that's proposed, would not be visible over the existing tree line that separates the site from nearby homes.

Diamond also predicted The St. James would bring hundreds of construction jobs and full-time jobs.

The development plan used to include a Topgolf driving range, but that aspect of the proposal was eliminated because of strong community opposition.

The village board held the public hearing because GlenStar wants the land rezoned from office campus to general business district.

The company also is seeking a special use permit for the proposed development.

If the project moves forward, various elements will require board approval.

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