Construction at long-delayed Arlington Downs set to begin

 
 
Updated 9/5/2018 7:17 PM
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  • A sketch shows the proposed $320 million Arlington Downs development on the northeast corner of Euclid Avenue and Rohlwing Road in Arlington Heights. Construction on some portions is set to begin this fall.

    A sketch shows the proposed $320 million Arlington Downs development on the northeast corner of Euclid Avenue and Rohlwing Road in Arlington Heights. Construction on some portions is set to begin this fall. Courtesy of Village of Arlington Heights

Construction is set to begin this fall on the latest pieces of the ambitious Arlington Downs mixed use redevelopment in Arlington Heights, including a boutique hotel, luxury apartment building, climbing wall recreation facility and family entertainment center.

The development team, led by Springbank Real Estate Group, got permission from the village board Tuesday to pursue revised plans for the 27-acre, $320 million development on the site of the former Sheraton hotel at Euclid Avenue and Rohlwing Road.

Original plans were approved in 2012, but the project has been slow to develop, prompting Springbank to reassess and amend its blueprints.

"Through the last seven years, what we're presenting today is an evolution of the market telling us what the site wants to be," said David Trandel, Springbank's chairman/CEO. "At this point, we have a plan that will get done."

Within 30 days, crews are scheduled to break ground on a four-story, 116-room hotel called Vib, the urban boutique hotel concept of Best Western that would be operated by Indianapolis-based General Hotels Corp. It's smaller than an earlier hotel contemplated by the developer, and now closer to the Rohlwing/Euclid intersection and proposed retail buildings.

Construction is slated to begin in November on a five-story, 263-unit apartment building on the southeast corner of the site. Following the village board's recent push for more affordable housing in a different apartment building project in town, village staff got Springbank to agree to provide nine units below market rate, and $100,000 as a fee in lieu of providing four additional units.

"Had we not had discussions on the village board several weeks ago, we probably would be seeing 'fee in lieu of' for the entire building," said Trustee Robin LaBedz. "I am pleased and thankful the developer and staff has been able to negotiate and at least come to this as something in perpetuity."

Future phases call for a 55-and-older residential building on the southeast corner of the site, and a 360-unit residential development on the northwest corner. Trandel told trustees his firm may be able to provide additional less-costly units in those buildings, once there is a steady cash flow from the development.

Work also is expected to begin to convert the shuttered CoCo Key water park into First Ascent, which would offer courses for climbers of varying skill, and Funtopia, which would cater to children with features including a smaller climbing wall, jungle gym, ropes courses and party rooms.

The old water park is attached to the One Arlington residential tower, formerly a Sheraton hotel, which was renovated and became the first piece of the development to open.

Four different retail buildings also are proposed throughout the site encompassing about 40,000 square feet. While no tenants have been secured, Trandel said he envisions a craft brewery and quick-service/sit-down restaurants.

Trandel has estimated it could take five years for the entire redevelopment to come to fruition.

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