Pheasant Run property could be divided for potential redevelopment
To facilitate the potential redevelopment of the shuttered Pheasant Run Resort, property owners have proposed dividing the St. Charles site into three parcels, one of which representatives say is under contract to be purchased.
The first lot would incorporate the former Mega Center and adjacent parking area, according to an application from Florida-based Saint Charles Resort LLC. The second would encompass a cluster of buildings that made up the decades-old resort, and the third includes the mostly undeveloped parcel at the corner of Main Street and Kautz Road.
There have been no specific development plans presented so far for any portion of the campus. But attorney Rich Guerard, representing the ownership group, told plan commissioners Tuesday that the Mega Center lot is under contract to be sold to a possible developer.
Before the resort shut down March 1, the convention center brought many conferences and other large events to the city, filling nearby hotels and generating a "tremendous" amount of business, said commission member Laura Macklin-Purdy, who also serves as the tourism and sales manager for the St. Charles Business Alliance.
"It's a shame we can't have the Mega Center that remains there because it really did support a lot of economic growth within our community," she said. "It's a hard pill to swallow."
From the ownership's perspective, however, the operation didn't work economically, Guerard said. The interested buyer intends to use a portion of the convention center space as part of a greater redevelopment plan, he said, noting officials are "making great efforts to replace that economic activity on the property."
While there has been interest in the site, the city is unaware of the property's status pertaining to a potential sale, said Russell Colby, assistant community and economic development director. The ownership group is not required to disclose whether any parcels are under contract as part of its application.
The plan commission unanimously supported the proposed subdivision of the property, contingent upon completed engineering plans for a new publicly owned sanitary lift station necessary to provide sewer services to each lot, Colby said. Vehicle access, public sidewalks and additional utility upgrades are among the other details expected to be addressed.
The measure now will advance to the planning and development committee before final consideration by the city council.
The future of the iconic Pheasant Run site at 4051 E. Main St. has been uncertain since months before the resort's closure, when management announced plans to restructure operations and reduce its staff by 75%. The property was listed for sale soon after, and an online auction was held in February, though the final $6 million bid did not meet the resort's undisclosed reserve price.
Founded by Edward McArdle in 1963, Pheasant Run served as a suburban entertainment destination for decades, with an indoor/outdoor pool and a historic two-block replica of New Orleans' Bourbon Street that helped put St. Charles on the map, city stakeholders said.
It also operated 293 hotel rooms, seven restaurants, banquet and meeting space, a comedy club, and an 18-hole golf course that it leased from the adjacent DuPage Airport.