Plan for massive upscale spa to go before Wheeling board later this month

  • This is an artist's rendering of Spa Forest, which would open in a renovated three-story office building on the northeast corner of Milwaukee Avenue and Dundee Road in Wheeling. The village board is expected to consider the proposal Jan. 20.

    This is an artist's rendering of Spa Forest, which would open in a renovated three-story office building on the northeast corner of Milwaukee Avenue and Dundee Road in Wheeling. The village board is expected to consider the proposal Jan. 20. Courtesy of Manhard Consulting

  • New York-based C. Castle Group Inc. proposes converting this vacant office building into a day spa that would include an ice room, sushi bar, body massages and a year-round outdoor pool with 98-degree water on the northeast corner of Milwaukee Avenue and Dundee Road in Wheeling.

      New York-based C. Castle Group Inc. proposes converting this vacant office building into a day spa that would include an ice room, sushi bar, body massages and a year-round outdoor pool with 98-degree water on the northeast corner of Milwaukee Avenue and Dundee Road in Wheeling. Bob Susnjara | Staff Photographer

 
 
Updated 1/10/2020 5:27 PM

Wheeling village board members later this month are expected to consider a plan for a massive upscale day spa in a renovated vacant office building at Dundee Road and Milwaukee Avenue.

Members of Wheeling's advisory plan commission capped a continued public hearing this week by recommending that a special-use permit be granted so New York-based C. Castle Group Inc. can repurpose the three-story, 65,532-square-foot structure previously occupied by Solex College and Cole-Taylor Bank. The village board, which gets the final say, is expected to consider the tentatively named Spa Forest on Jan. 20.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Along with renovating the office building, C. Castle proposes a 6,844-square-foot addition on the east side to serve as a main entrance. The second floor of the addition would be a deck with a year-round, 98-degree outdoor pool. Other amenities include an ice room, sushi bar, body massages and four different heated mineral pools mimicking traditional Asian and European baths.

Plan commission members recommended that certain areas of Spa Forest be allowed to stay open 24 hours a day, including the lobby, a relax room, business lounge and infrared zone. Commission member Jeff Creech voiced some concern about that before voting in favor of the proposal.

"We don't want this to turn into, like, someone coming in, flying in at 2 in the morning, and then going over there and sleeping until 5 in the morning and then taking a shower and a sauna and doing what he's got to do and then goes on with his day," Creech said.

C. Castle has similar spas in New York and Texas. James Frayn, a vice president at Lincolnshire-based Manhard Consulting who represented C. Castle at the public hearing Wednesday, said there haven't been problems with visitors using the spas as lodging for a few hours.

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