Enormous athletic center with two ice rinks, restaurant coming to Lincolnshire

  • An enormous, privately owned athletic facility is planned for a 41-acre site in Lincolnshire. Seen in this architectural rendering, it'll be called The St. James.

    An enormous, privately owned athletic facility is planned for a 41-acre site in Lincolnshire. Seen in this architectural rendering, it'll be called The St. James. Courtesy of Lincolnshire

 
 
Updated 3/10/2020 8:55 PM

A preliminary development plan for an enormous, privately owned athletic facility in Lincolnshire was approved by the village board Monday night.

Dubbed The St. James, the facility is set to be built on 41 acres north of Half Day Road and west of the Tri-State Tollway. The site now is a mostly unused office campus.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

The 435,488-square-foot facility will have an indoor athletic field, a swimming pool, an indoor splash park, two NHL-sized ice rinks, basketball and volleyball courts, locker rooms, batting cages, an area for gymnastics, a fitness center, a spa, a restaurant and other amenities.

The facility will be the second St. James athletic center. The first is in Virginia.

"The St. James is very excited to become part of the Lincolnshire community," Michael Kerin, the company's development director, told the village board Monday. "We believe this site ... is something all residents will be proud to have in their village."

First publicly proposed in late 2017, the plan has been slowly moving through the development process. In 2018, the village board voted to rezone the property so the St. James could be built there. That same year, trustees approved a special use permit to allow the development, which also could include a hotel, a restaurant and other businesses.

The St. James is proposed to be open to members 24 hours a day, although not all of its amenities will be available around the clock.

Construction is expected to bring up to 600 jobs to Lincolnshire. Once open, the facility will need up to 300 full-time workers and up to 400 part-time workers, documents indicate.

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In response to questions about the environmental sustainability of the center, architect Andrew Jacobs said The St. James will be equipped with motion-sensitive lights and light fixtures that use LED bulbs. Additionally, the building will be equipped with multiple electricity meters so employees can track usage and improve performance, he said.

Solar panels are being considered, too, Kerin said, as are charging stations for electric automobiles.

In response to a previous query from Trustee Julie Harms Muth, Kerin said Lincolnshire residents won't be offered a discount to join the facility.

The St. James is expected to generate between $59,000 and $69,000 of sales tax revenue for the village during its first full year of operation, and that figure is expected to grow over time, documents indicate. The property tax revenue for the village from the site could be $70,000 annually, documents indicate.

Those figures don't include revenue generated by St. James customers at nearby restaurants and hotels, Mayor Elizabeth Brandt said.

A projected groundbreaking date wasn't announced. A 2022 opening is planned, Lincolnshire officials said.

Approval of the final development plan will be needed before construction can begin. Village officials expect to receive it by mid-April.

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