Developer sees London Crossing plan as 'new gateway into Wheeling'
The developers behind a plan to build a new Wheeling Township Elementary District 21 headquarters, a small shopping center and townhouses in Wheeling think the complex could mean big things for the village.
"(We are) excited about this opportunity to create what we are calling a new gateway into Wheeling," Chris Coleman of Mount Prospect-based Wingspan Development told the village board during a presentation Monday night.
After a lengthy review of the plan and discussion, the board unanimously approved a preliminary request from Wingspan to create a planned development called London Crossing on the 11.5-acre site, which is on the south side of Dundee Road and west of Elmhurst Road.
Formerly home to the Dundee Plaza shopping center, the land is vacant now. It's on the west side of the downtown district Wheeling officials have been trying to create along Dundee Road.
The proposed complex gets its name from London Middle School next door. The District 21 building likely would be the most eye-catching element of the complex.
According to Wingspan's plans, it will be a 40,500-square-foot, three-story structure on the west side of the property, nearest to the school property.
The district's main offices now are in the Gill Administration Center, which adjoins the middle school. Some of that building will be razed if the new headquarters is built.
Offices, space for social service workers, a meeting room for the school board, rooms for staff programs and other amenities are planned for the new building, District 21 Superintendent Michael Connolly told the village board Monday.
Connolly said he hopes district officials can hire a building contractor this fall and start construction in October or November. He envisions the building being ready for use by late 2022.
The land and building construction could cost as much as $16 million, Connolly said Tuesday.
Elsewhere on the site, a relatively small shopping center and a lot for a free-standing restaurant are proposed for the north side.
Eleven townhouse buildings containing 55 total units would be built on the property's south side.
Final reviews of some suggested changes and a vote by Wheeling's plan commission still are needed, as is a final vote by the village board.