How a developer plans to revitalize a former Algonquin bowling alley site

A storage facility, a fast-food restaurant and a car wash are included in a developer's plans to revitalize the site of a long-vacant Algonquin bowling alley.

Property owner Steven Schwartz has proposed transforming the shuttered Brunswick Zone building at 2075 E. Algonquin Road into climate-controlled self-storage units, according to village documents. The plan also calls for creating an adjacent outdoor storage yard for large recreational vehicles, such as boats and campers.

The remainder of the roughly 5.3-acre property, which has been vacant for about 10 years, would be divided into two lots fronting East Algonquin Road, senior planner Ben Mason said. One parcel would contain an automated car wash, constructed in place of Brunswick Zone's former miniature golf course and batting cages. The other would be redeveloped into a Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen with a drive-through.

"The village is excited to see continued reinvestment in the East Algonquin Road corridor in general," Mason said. "The new car wash and Popeyes will provide a bit more of a strong presence for the property along the corridor and add to more vitality and vibrant use of that portion of Algonquin Road."

The project was introduced to the committee of the whole in September, at which point officials recommended improved screening of the outdoor storage area and various improvements to the car wash facade, Mason said. Final redevelopment plans, which included the suggested design changes, received preliminary support from trustees this week and will be brought to the village board for final consideration Tuesday.

Ahead of the vote, Schwartz is expected to provide a list of vehicles permitted in the outdoor storage yard, Mason said. Boats and RVs are OK, for example, but not industrial equipment.

A storage facility and other components of the redevelopment plan are compatible with the surrounding commercial uses, Mason said. A wooded area serves as an adequate buffer between the property and a nearby residential area, he said, and an adjacent Thorntons gas station offers access to a signalized intersection at Compton Drive.

Algonquin officials have been working for years to encourage more economic growth and activity on the east side of town, particularly along East Algonquin Road. In addition to breathing new life into an empty building, Mason said, Schwartz was able to identify and attract new businesses to increase the site's visibility.

An automated car wash is one component of a proposed plan to redevelop a former Algonquin bowling alley site. The village board is expected to vote Tuesday on the project, which has been updated in the past few months to incorporate trustees' feedback on the car wash facade. Courtesy of the village of Algonquin
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