Lombard discusses new library, former seminary site redevelopment
Lombard officials laid the groundwork for two major redevelopment proposals during a virtual village board meeting Thursday.
Trustees gave unanimous preliminary approval votes for multiple ordinances tied to a new $27.8 million Helen Plum Library building. They did the same for rezoning and sign ordinances for a major mixed-use retail/residential redevelopment targeted for the former Northern Baptist Theological Seminary campus on Butterfield Road.
The board focused first on the new two-story, 50,000-square-foot library proposed for 401-425 S. Main St., the sites of a former Mr. Z's supermarket and a professional building.
The long-delayed new library is tied to a property tax increase that voters approved as part of a 2016 referendum. The library had initially planned to construct a new building on its current site at 110 W. Maple St., but agreements could not be worked out with the Lombard Park District, which owns the neighboring Lilacia Park.
The board gave preliminary approval to rezone the new site from business to cultural use, and allow for a 43.5-foot height and signage. Trustees also supported changing parking space requirements from three spaces per 1,000 square feet of a building to two, in part, because the library has a planned area for 24 bicycle spots and a drive-through book drop and pickup lane.
"I'm very excited and I've received nothing but positive feedback," District 5 Trustee Dan Militello said of the library proposal.
The trustees then turned their attention to plans for a $159 million mixed-used project at 600-690 Butterfield Road, the former locations of the seminary that relocated to Lisle in 2017.
Schaumburg-based Alpha Omega Development Group has grand ambitions if it acquires the roughly 27-acre site. It's centerpiece attraction is to be a combined GolfSocial driving range and Moretti's restaurant that would be connected to an exiting Westin hotel.
The developer also plans a gas station and other restaurants fronting Butterfield Road. An apartment complex is slated for the site in a later phase. Lombard is also considering a portion of the site for a new water tower separate from the Alpha Omega project.
The trustees unanimously gave preliminary approval for all the necessary zoning changes for the proposed redevelopment, including to allow for the residential and business uses and for signage.
Officials discussed Lombard's Economic and Community Development board's tentative financing proposals for the site as part of the tax increment financing district known as the Butterfield Yorktown TIF. In a TIF district, property taxes paid to local governments are frozen for up to 23 years. Any extra property tax money collected within the area after the district is established go into a special fund to help pay for certain improvements.
The trustees heard details about ongoing negotiations that, if approved, would give the developer up to $27.5 million over a 16-year period from the TIF district.
Trustee Reid Foltyniewicz cautioned residents that the proposal was not a done deal. However, Mayor Keith T. Giagnorio said he was pleased to potentially get the former religious/education site back onto the village tax rolls.
"I think it's a very exciting time," Giagnorio said. "It would be a great addition to the village."
Due to the trustees' unanimous preliminary approval of the zoning ordinances, they will all be up for a consensus vote at the next village board meeting scheduled for Jan. 21.