Two years later, Arlington Heights boutique hotel plans approved
Two years after making an initial proposal and five versions later, an Arlington Heights business owner's vision to build a boutique hotel took a major step forward Monday.
The village board voted unanimously to support the latest plans for a 9-story, 62-room hotel attached to the European Crystal banquet hall at 519 W. Algonquin Road, where the main banquet hall would remain, but four smaller banquet rooms would be demolished.
"We're looking to create something unique, beautiful and a real diamond for this village," said James Cazares, of European Crystal, who proposed the hotel to boost the banquet's slow weekday business.
Earlier versions of the plan called for a hotel as high as 13 stories and with as many as 160 rooms, but village trustees and staff continued to say the project didn't come with enough parking. The board rejected a proposal for a 12-story, 126-room hotel with 175 parking spaces last November.
But the less-dense plan approved Monday night only required a variation of four parking spaces -- allowing 171 spaces in lieu of 175 required by code. That contrasts with the 309-space deficit presented in initial plans.
And the banquet owners have also secured agreements with three nearby businesses, Brite-O-Matic, Hand To Shoulder Associates and Pace, to use their lots for overflow, valet and staff parking during big events on evenings and weekends.
"I think you've heard us," Trustee John Scaletta told Cazares. "I kept telling you parking was going to be an issue. And you brought in all the surrounding neighbors willing to let you park on their properties, which is what we've always been asking for you to do. You've now answered all the concerns I've had."
In addition to parking, trustees also approved a land-use variation to allow a hotel in what is a manufacturing zoning district.
Cazares said the hotel would include amenities such as in-room dining and spa service, and offer a shuttle service to O'Hare International Airport and downtown Arlington Heights. The ninth floor will be used for storage, but Cazares eventually wants to convert it to a 4,000-square-foot indoor/outdoor rooftop lounge. The plan would require additional parking variation approvals.
The hotel could open as soon as 2020.