Rosemont to build new public safety building near Allstate Arena
Rosemont officials plan to construct a public safety department building north of the Allstate Arena that would be double the size of the department's current headquarters in village hall.
The proposed building -- to be situated between Lyndon Avenue and Barry Street north of Lunt Avenue -- would create a municipal campus, with the existing public works building and Barry Street Recreational Center across the street.
The village has purchased about a dozen light industrial buildings along Barry and Lyndon over the last few years with an eye toward future redevelopment, but up until now officials didn't say exactly what they had in mind.
"It's been a long time coming," Mayor Brad Stephens said Tuesday. "We definitely need it with the technology and all the things that go into law enforcement today. We need to build them a facility that's going to be their forever home."
The department -- which handles police, fire and emergency medical services for the 2.5-square-mile town -- operates on several floors of village hall, 9501 W. Devon Ave. The new building, which could be one or two floors and cover between 70,000 and 90,000 square feet, would have more room for booking and processing arrestees, along with possible training spaces and a shooting range, Stephens said.
Rosemont's two fire stations at 5800 River Road and 10073 Higgins Road would remain intact, he said.
The village has possession of all but four buildings on the rectangular block of industrial properties just north of the stadium's parking lot. While officials have made offers to buy the buildings, the village board Wednesday is set to vote on ordinance language that would allow property to be acquired by condemnation if needed. Stephens said one business has an existing lease, but by pursuing condemnation proceedings, the property can be demolished with all the others this year.
"I don't think anybody has been extremely adverse," Stephens said. "They understand it's a redevelopment area and we've been buying up these buildings."
The 80 or so apartment buildings in the neighborhood will remain, and plans call for fencing in the area -- much like the village's gated community of single family homes off Higgins. Another community of apartments near Higgins and River roads could also become gated.
"It's part of the world we live in," the mayor said. "100,000 people drive in (to Rosemont) every day and there's no reason for someone to cut through these areas and create a situation where it's dangerous for kids."
The village plans to demolish the industrial buildings this summer and fall, while an architect designs plans for the public safety building. Construction would start the following spring, with an opening planned for early 2021.