Controversial redevelopment proposal moving forward in Lincolnshire

  • Real estate developer Rand Diamond talks to Lincolnshire officials and a packed audience July 30 about a plan to build a 450,000-square-foot athletic facility in town.

      Real estate developer Rand Diamond talks to Lincolnshire officials and a packed audience July 30 about a plan to build a 450,000-square-foot athletic facility in town. Russell Lissau | Staff Photographer

  • An architectural drawing of the St. James athletic facility that's been proposed for Lincolnshire.

    An architectural drawing of the St. James athletic facility that's been proposed for Lincolnshire. Courtesy of Village of Lincolnshire

 
 
Updated 8/10/2018 4:08 PM

A controversial plan to raze a mostly unused office park and construct an enormous indoor athletic center and other buildings is progressing in Lincolnshire.

After public hearings that lasted hours and stretched over two nights, trustees have agreed to put the plan on the agenda for their Aug. 27 meeting, Village Manager Brad Burke said. That session is set for 7 p.m. at village hall, 1 Olde Half Day Road.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

The 450,000-square-foot athletic facility, to be called The St. James, is proposed for land north of Half Day Road and west of the Tri-State Tollway. Chicago-based developer GlenStar Properties and a group called TSJ Lincolnshire Property also want to build a hotel, a restaurant and a commercial recreational facility on the 43-acre site.

The St. James, a Virginia-based company, is the only business that's been identified by developers, and it was the focus of the public hearings July 30 and this week.

The two-story center would have an Olympic-sized pool, sports fields, ice rinks, a health club, a restaurant and other amenities.

Mayor Elizabeth Brandt has said The St. James could be a big draw because indoor athletic facilities are hard to find in the Chicago area and in much demand.

Leaving the office buildings alone isn't a good option, she said, because Lincolnshire already has a glut of vacant office space.

"Let's face it -- a lot of companies aren't moving to Illinois," Brandt said Thursday.

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The public hearings were needed because the developers wants the land rezoned from office campus to general business district.

Northfield-based Medline Industries owns the land but never has never occupied it. Aon Hewitt has a data center there, and two other office buildings are vacant.

Developers also are seeking a special use permit for the proposed development because of the mix of businesses proposed for the site.

The July 30 hearing lasted about four hours and included considerable public comment. Monday's hearing went about three hours.

Most of the residents who spoke at the hearings opposed the plan. They expressed concern about the aesthetics of the proposed complex, the potential impact on traffic and other issues.

Village leaders have heard from a few people who support the proposal, either in person at the hearings or through subsequent correspondence.

The Aug. 27 discussion date gives people a few more weeks to tell village officials how they feel about the plan via email, mail or telephone, Brandt said.

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