|By Jim Jaworski, Chicago
TribuneMcClatchy-Tribune Regional News
June 20, 2012--One of the largest single developments in the history of Arlington Heights got the final green light from the Village Board, with the developer hoping the first phase will be open by next summer.
Arlington Downs, a $250 million mixed-used redevelopment of the 25-acre site at the northeast corner of Euclid Avenue and Rohlwing Road, received unanimous approval Monday on what is expected to be the final significant vote on the projects. Some amendments and votes are possible in the future. The project will be built in phases over the next five years, starting with the conversion of the former Sheraton Hotel into luxury apartments.
"We are pleased," said Carl Groesbeck of the developer, Argent Group of Arlington Heights. "It's a tough market, but we are finding good reception the village from and the staff."
The final vote took place after only minimal discussion, compared with the previous marathon meetings as the project moved through the approval process. Besides the hotel-to-apartments conversion, there will be two new hotels with a combined 350 rooms, five commercial and retail buildings and a water park.
The project is expected to bring in $1.6 million in annual revenue for Arlington Heights, but one of the biggest benefits for the northwest suburb is the reuse of a vacant property.
"We do have to make sure we preserve rental property in the village, but I think it was the totality of the project that was attractive," said Village Manager Bill Dixon. "It provides rental units, it will provide retail and it will provide niche hotels ... and it solves the abandoned site problem."
The developer has already begun demolition work on the property. The apartment tower is expected to be open in summer 2013, with the first hotel and water park open later that year.
(c)2012 the Chicago Tribune
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