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Old February 24th, 2006, 03:00 AM   #61
spyguy
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New Serta HQ

http://cpnonline.com/cpn/regions/art..._id=1002074154

Serta to Build New HQ in Northwest Suburbs
February 23, 2006
By Dees Stribling, Midwest Correspondent


Mattress maker Serta International plans to build a new corporate headquarters in Hoffman Estates, Ill., a northwest suburb of Chicago not far from its current HQ. The 90,000-square-foot building on 19 acres will be in the 780-acre Prairie Stone Business Park, best known as the place where Sears Roebuck and Co. moved after leaving the Sears Tower in downtown Chicago in the late 1980s.

Construction on the two-story facility will begin this spring and is slated for completion in the summer of 2007. The new facility will include administrative office space for the firm's 110 employees, as well as a 20,000-square-foot research center attached to the main building. The building will also include a showroom for retailers.

"Several factors went into Serta choosing the Prairie Stone site," said John Goodman, executive vice president at the Chicago office of Studley, which brokered the purchase of the site from Sears Holdings and which will also serve as the project manager for the build-to-suit. "But perhaps the most important was the site's highly visible location on I-90. That represents huge exposure for the company."

Goodman also told CPN that the space will further the process of Serta's consolidation with National Bedding Corp., which it bought in 2004. Serta currently occupies 17,000 square feet of space at Prairie Stone (pictured) in a facility that once served as National Bedding's headquarters.

The Society of American Registered Architects recognized the design of the building in 2004 with an Award of Honor. The architectural firm A. Epstein and Sons International designed it to include such distinctive elements as underground parking, which reduces impervious surfaces and allows the structure to appear to "float" in a sea of green prairie grass.

------
From Epstein's website:

Epstein is providing full architectural services for the new Serta International Center to be located in the Prairie Stone Development in Hoffman Estates. The program consists of 60,000 sf of office, showroom, and present-ation areas plus a 20,000 sf research and development center for a total of 80,000 sf.



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Old March 11th, 2006, 03:13 AM   #62
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Medinah on the Lake
Bloomingdale
Looks like 6-7 floor in three buildings

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Old March 28th, 2006, 09:24 PM   #63
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The Crossings at Morton Grove
Morton Grove
Rowhomes



----
Kind of interesting, and much better than the cheap aluminium siding townhouses all over the suburbs.
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Old March 28th, 2006, 11:31 PM   #64
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The real cool thing about a project such as the Crossings in Morton Grove, is that it is by Toll Brothers, a developer that gots its name by building huge McMansions in the exurbs, but now they focus on infill projects in middle class suburbs and even exploring the possibilities of urban high rises. Concord Homes is doing very well at this too, a real good shift for them because thier suburban greenfield homes suck; cookie cutter desings constructed with shitty meterials, bad layouts and are often overpriced, but thier infill projects have been very tastefull. I really wish more suburban developers would follow in this path and convince community officials to change the exclusionary and single use zoning that makes sprawl suck so bad.

Regaurding the Serta Headquarters, that has the potential to be a great building, however building a sustainable project in a unsustainable environment with no access to public transit is pointless, a step in the right dirrection but the sustainable features showcased really do not mean a whole lot if all employees have to drive to a huge office park filled with unatural landscaping, although it seams the serta grounds will have native plantings.
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Old March 29th, 2006, 07:42 PM   #65
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Don't know the status on all of them. Some are most likely UC and even some are probably finished.

-----------------

Trafalgar Square
Morton Grove
6 floor


Park Wellington
Arlington Heights
5 floors


The Wellington at Adler Park
Libertyville
4 floors


The Wellington at Twin Lake
Palatine
6 floors


The Metropolitan at Wellington Court
Palatine
7 floors


Riverwalk Condominiums
Rolling Meadows
6 floors
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Old March 29th, 2006, 07:53 PM   #66
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Siena at Old Orchard
Skokie
6 floors


Timber Court Condominiums
Arlington Heights
5 floors


Cardinal Square Condo
Mundelein
7 floors


Park Place Condominiums
Elk Grove Village
6 floors
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Old March 29th, 2006, 08:19 PM   #67
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All from Norwood Builders

Park Street Crossing
Roselle
5 floors


Lincoln Place Condo
Lombard
4 floors


The Emerson
Mount Prospect
5 floors


Founders Row
Mount Prospect
Row homes


The Residences at Village Center
Mount Prospect
7 floors


Madison Place Condos
Skokie
6 floors


The Residences at 8200
Skokie
4 floors + townhomes



Wescott Crossing
Wheaton
6 floors



---------


With all these developments I see baby steps. Seems like many suburbs are slowly losing fear of 5-7 floors, so the next step will be 10 floors, and then maybe we'll see something that will make it on to Emporis. But seriously, I wonder how easy it would be for a developer like Optima to come into one of these communities and blow the competition away with their glassy designs.
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Old March 29th, 2006, 09:59 PM   #68
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The only project renderings I think have potential to be above average/good design are the .....
The Crossings/Morton Grove
Timber Court Condominiums/Arlington Heights
Founders Row/Mount Prospect (could be real nice)
Wescott Crossing/Wheaton.
...........The rest look like they are all going to be pretty mediocre crap.
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Old March 29th, 2006, 11:58 PM   #69
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A good many (not all, I'm sure) of those are near Metra Stations, I believe
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Old April 22nd, 2006, 08:54 PM   #70
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ParcCongress Station
Brookfield
6 floors
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Old April 22nd, 2006, 09:13 PM   #71
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Now to change gears....office buildings. Most of these we know about and have been in the works for a while but I felt like posting them anyway.

Takeda Pharmaceuticals North America
Deerfield
Two 5 floor buildings (with possibility to expand I think)


Corridors 4
Downers Grove
7 floors





This one has been around for a while, and I'm not sure if it has any tenants signed up, but it is really a striking design by Jahn and is supposed to be LEED certified.
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Old April 22nd, 2006, 09:20 PM   #72
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Do or die situation?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chicago Shawn

Regaurding the Serta Headquarters, that has the potential to be a great building, however building a sustainable project in a unsustainable environment with no access to public transit is pointless, a step in the right dirrection but the sustainable features showcased really do not mean a whole lot if all employees have to drive to a huge office park filled with unatural landscaping, although it seams the serta grounds will have native plantings.
That is true, although I think the Prairie Stone park will have its own new station on the Metra STAR line.

---------------------------
Saw this in the Herald. Didn't know where to post it except here.

http://www.dailyherald.com/story.asp?id=180514

State aims to accelerate funding to Fermilab
BY TONA KUNZ

Daily Herald Staff Writer
Posted Saturday, April 22, 2006

In a bid to gain world favor as a leader in physics research and capture the revenue that follows, Illinois officials Friday said they are eyeing a $3 million project for Fermilab.

State officials unveiled the proposed project and vowed support for Fermilab in Batavia and Argonne National Laboratory in southeastern DuPage County at a press conference in Chicago. The two federal research laboratories also signed an agreement cementing their expanded partnership for accelerator experiments.

The proposed creation of the Illinois Accelerator Research Center at Fermilab's Batavia campus is included in Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich's 2007 capital budget request. The $3 million grant still must be approved by the General Assembly.

State and science leaders hope the center, with an increased partnership between the labs, helps secure their vitality for the next two decades.

By proving that Illinois is willing to invest capital and brainpower in high-energy physics accelerator research, the state hopes to win the right to house the world's next big research laboratory, the International Linear Collider.

This is the first time the state has formalized its support of housing the international project. The commitment follows last year's announcements by the U.S. Department of Energy and the international physics community that Fermilab is the leading choice right now to operate the linear collider.

The collider, expected to enter construction by the end of the decade, will produce the highest level of energy of any accelerator in the world, allowing for the study of smaller types of subatomic particles and reaching further into the building blocks of life.


"I am confident that this relationship will help cement Illinois' leadership in the development and use of accelerators for the advancement of science," said U.S. Rep. Judy Biggert, chairwoman of the House Science Subcommittee on Energy. "Collaborative scientific discovery at these two laboratories will help ensure American's continued economic and scientific competitiveness for generations to come."

Blagojevich said in a release that he was committed to leveraging more money for the two energy laboratories. Jack Lavin, director of the state's department of commerce and economic opportunity, also pledged support.

Keeping the labs operating is key to the local economy. Fermilab has a budget of roughly $300 million and spends about $63 million with Illinois companies. The lab employs 2,100 people who live mainly in Kane and DuPage counties. Acquiring the collider project is expected to create spin-off industries tied to the research.

If Fermilab does not win the project, it is likely to downsize.
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Old April 30th, 2006, 06:44 PM   #73
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Continuing with that theme...

http://www.suntimes.com/output/busin...rmilab30.html#

Fermilab in race to land scientific whopper
April 30, 2006
BY JIM RITTER Staff Reporter


West suburban Fermilab is stepping up its efforts to land one of the biggest and most expensive experiments in the history of science.

Fermilab is competing with two sites in Europe and one in Japan for the International Linear Collider, a 28-mile-long machine that would cost $4 billion to $10 billion.

If built at Fermilab, the collider would be housed inside a 15-foot-wide tunnel more than 300 feet below the surface. Subatomic particles would race down from opposite ends of the tunnel and smash together in the middle.

Winning the project would keep Fermilab at the forefront of worldwide research into the structure of matter and forces of the universe. Landing the collider also would ensure that Fermilab, with its 2,000 employees and $300 million budget, would remain a major hub of the Chicago region's economy.

But if Fermilab loses the bidding war, it likely would face significant downsizing.

"We like to think Fermilab is the front-runner," said Steve Holmes, the lab's associate director. "But nothing is a given at this point."

The international physics community will pick the winning site within the next few years. To assist Fermilab's bid, Gov. Blagojevich recently proposed funding a $3 million Illinois Accelerator Research Center. The center would help private industry ramp up the technology needed to build the collider's equipment.

The center will play "a critical role in establishing the credibility of Fermilab to execute this project," Holmes said.

The host country likely will have to pay at least half the cost of the project. The federal government has said that if the collider is built in the United States, it should go to Fermilab.

Fermilab's prospects improved further Wednesday when the respected National Research Council urged the United States to make a strong bid for the collider.

For the past 23 years, Fermilab has operated the world's most powerful particle-smashing machine. Subatomic protons are accelerated to nearly the speed of light around a four-mile circular track called the Tevatron. The protons smash into antiprotons rotating the opposite direction.

Geology in Fermilab's favor

Next year, however, the European lab known as CERN will begin operating a higher-energy particle smashing machine. Because Fermilab will not be able to compete at that level, it plans to shut down the Tevatron in 2009. Fermilab still would operate other smaller experiments, but it would be significantly downsized.

Unless it lands the Linear Collider. And Fermilab has several advantages, including an existing staff of scientists and a location near major universities and O'Hare Airport.

Plus, it has great geology. The underlying layer of limestone would be an ideal rock formation to support the collider tunnel and its parallel service tunnel. The tunnels initially would be about 14 miles long, and later expanded to about 28 miles.

"If we get this, Fermilab will remain a vibrant place," Holmes said. "If it doesn't come here, our lab will be a slimmed-down place. We're trying very hard to get this machine."



------------

So what are they going to do with the Tevatron once it closes?
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Old May 2nd, 2006, 04:29 AM   #74
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Flint Creek

Here in Barrington, we happen to be getting a nice new development called "The Shops At Flint Creek". It is on the site of a former CartonCraft factory, which has apparently left. This new development makes no attempt to be TOD, and no attempt to cater to pedestrians. There are two good things about it, though - one, it will connect to an adjacent park to allow joggers through, and two, it is development (upscale at that!). If the people here will realize that development isn't bad, then maybe we can start to get a piece of the pie that other Metra suburbs like Arlington Heights and Palatine are getting.

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Old May 3rd, 2006, 12:33 AM   #75
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^ Good for Barrington

zzzzz...
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Old May 3rd, 2006, 01:32 AM   #76
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Yeah, it's really pretty insignificant to all you city-dwellers, but this is a Suburban Development thread. If the point is to ridicule the small-time development problems of the suburbs and the SSC members who live in them, then maybe we shouldn't have this topic running.

I don't want to seem inflammatory, but come on! It's quite frustrating seeing half-progress like this, when directly above it are a bunch of excellent developments happening in other similar communities.

It's not that I like suburbs - I lived the first half of my life on the south side, and as soon as I graduate, I do plan to move back into the city somewhere. But I do want to see progress out here to fix the suburban problem, just like you guys want to see progress towards infill and away from blight.
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Old May 5th, 2006, 12:25 AM   #77
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http://www.dailyherald.com/search/se....asp?id=184695

Plan commission OKs Palatine condos

By Sara Faiwell

Daily Herald Staff Writer
Posted Wednesday, May 03, 2006

The Benchmark of Palatine in the village’s downtown area might soon have a neighbor.

Developer R. Franczak and Associates has proposed a five-story, 32-unit condo building on Smith Street where it dead-ends with Palatine Road.

This is next to The Benchmark, another Franczak project in which all the units are sold and construction is almost complete.

On Tuesday night, the Palatine plan commission voted 8-1 in favor of the proposal, with Chairman Dennis Dwyer casting the sole vote against it.

Now, the recommendation will go to a village council committee and eventually must be approved by the entire village council.

The building would be an anchor for the end of Smith Street because the top will have a cupola, which will stay gently lit day and night, officials said.

“We’ve created a tower element and pointed it north,” said Mark Hopkins, an architect with Arlington Heights-based HKM.

Facing Palatine Road would be a small community park with a sculpture in it.

“It’s a decorative area and a place to put a civic space,” Hopkins said.

The developers will pay $100,000 to build the park, but it would then be turned over to Palatine to run.

“I appreciate this park very much,” said Plan Commissioner Sally Sinacore.

The building, called The Insignia of Palatine, will have units averaging 1,400 square feet that range in price from $285,000 to $345,000.

To make way for the condos, two small apartment buildings and a dentist’s office will be knocked down.

Dwyer voted against the plan because he says the building is too large for Smith Street and that it’s “all you’re going to see” as you go down the street.

Other commissioners had questions about why the parking lot for the building had to be just south of the proposed park. Developers say there will be enough landscaping so that people won’t see the cars.
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Old May 5th, 2006, 12:28 AM   #78
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Pretty cool

http://www.dailyherald.com/search/se....asp?id=185279

New dawn for Mineola?
Renovations, new condo development pitched for historic Fox Lake site

By Lee Filas

Daily Herald Staff Writer
Posted Thursday, May 04, 2006

The Mineola Hotel in Fox Lake may be on its way to getting a new owner and a facelift.

Mayor Cindy Irwin said representatives of Millenium Builders of Chicago have met individually with owner Pete Jakstas, trustees and village staff members about plans to renovate the 122-year-old Mineola into a working facility.

The proposal, Irwin said, also calls for two 6- to 12-story condominium buildings to be built behind the hotel.

However, Jakstas has said nothing is in writing.

“I don’t have a contract on it, and it hasn’t been sold at this point,” he said. “Everyone around town has been saying I sold it and that I’m a millionaire, but I assure them that I’m still working seven days a week.”

The Mineola Hotel, built in 1884, is the largest wooden structure remaining in Illinois. The historical significance of the building usually involves mob figures such as Al Capone and George “Bugs” Malone lounging on the shores of Fox Lake in front of the building in the 1920s.

Jakstas and some village officials long have sought a way to renovate the facility and bring it back to its glory.

To do it, though, Irwin said developers asked for creation of a tax increment financing district to help offset renovation costs expected to be around $5 million.

If approved, Irwin said, it would affect only the hotel and not include the condos.

“I would never do the condos with a TIF because of the problems it would cause for the schools and the other taxing districts,” she said

A TIF district freezes property tax payments to local taxing bodies. The extra tax revenue collected from owners as the property is developed and increases in value is used to pay off the original improvements, an incentive for developers seeking to offset building costs.

Fox Lake has one special taxing district on the books. It was created in February 2004 for the Sayles property on Route 12 near Eagle Point Road to help finance construction of a hotel.

Irwin said the developer has made it well known they will meet with school officials about the proposed development.

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Old May 5th, 2006, 08:04 AM   #79
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HowardL
Just stumble on this story. From the Daily Herald:
Developer wants to go up, not out, in Lisle

Developer pitches 22-story complex for vacant office park along Warrenville Road

By Michael Wamble
Daily Herald Staff Writer
Posted Wednesday, November 23, 2005

A 22-story condominium complex? In Lisle?

Walter A. Rebenson says he’s convinced such a project could work and would attract more people — and eventually more business — to the village.

Rebenson, vice president of development for Arlington Heights-based Avalon Bay, has lofty dreams for a $118 million complex with high-end condos and rental units that would be built in a long-vacant office park along Warrenville Road near the North-South Tollway.

But some leaders wonder whether 22 stories is too high. The building would be one of the tallest in DuPage County.

By comparison, the landmark tower in Oakbrook Terrace is 31 stories and the Hyatt Lisle is 13.

“The project is unique for what we have here in Lisle,” Community Development Director Tony Budzikowski said.

Even the main architect, Patrick FitzGerald, initially described the project as an “interesting challenge” given its location next to the Route 53 entrance ramp to the tollway.

But FitzGerald and Rebenson say the height is needed to preserve nearby open space.

“We can’t keep developing out and gobbling up land,” Rebenson said.

So instead of out, he wants to go up.

Though it’s just a concept, Mayor Joseph Broda said it’s an idea worth pursuing given the site’s proximity to Lisle’s Metra station.

As it now sits, Broda said, the location is “an eyesore.”

Such a change would require variances to codes. Lisle restricts the height of multi-family buildings to 50 feet, or about five stories.

“I’m not sure Lisle is ready for 22 stories,” Trustee Kim Brondyke told developers.

Others, though, see a towering landmark as a way to bring a mix of people and businesses to Lisle, much like plans to improve vacant space at the downtown corner of Main Street and Burlington Avenue.

A bistro?

A Starbucks?

Both were suggestions Trustee Joe Schmitt offered for the ground floor of the complex.

“It will also get us closer to get a critical mass of people,” who might frequent restaurants, bars and other Lisle businesses, he said.

Broda has a different idea.

“Before I’d have a Starbucks there, I’d have one downtown,” he said. “I don’t think retail would work there.”

When it comes to consumer traffic, Broda said, “I want them to walk downtown.”
Nice article, thanks!
I used to live in Lisle and yes it is getting a bit tight and I think that building this type of condo isn't a far fetch due to its city limit are what it is today and won't grow any bigger, unlike Naperville where I live now, it is still in the mess of sprawling like crazy in its southern terrotories! It is a great news for Lisle and another evidence to show that suburaban cities isn't all about sprawl! BTW, If this condo to be built, it will rival the Lisle Hyatt for good!
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Old May 10th, 2006, 06:44 PM   #80
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http://www.chicagotribune.com/busine...i-business-hed

Indoor water parks making giant splash
Two developers plan to invest at least $100 million each to build the first large indoor water parks in the Chicago area

By Kathy Bergen
Tribune staff reporter
Published May 10, 2006


That sound you hear is the hyperventilating of thousands of children, once they get word that a pair of humongous indoor water parks will be built in the Chicago area.

Two major resort projects were announced separately Tuesday, each linking an indoor water park with a major hotel in what is a significant and growing trend in the Midwest, led by Wisconsin.

Grizzly Falls Resort, a $110 million complex with a 100,000-square-foot indoor water park and 400-room all-suites hotel, is expected to break ground this fall in Rosemont as part of a big mixed-use development. It is scheduled to open in spring 2008.

And the KeyLime Cove Resort and Water Park, a $125 million "tropical escape" with a 50,000-square-foot indoor water park and 413-room hotel, is expected to open in Gurnee in mid-2007 or early 2008.

The idea behind the trend is that time-strapped parents are eager for a quick family getaway, and kids, in an era of video games and other electronic diversions, are bored by the idea of a plain, old swimming pool.

So developers are jumping into the game at an accelerated pace, tempted by the prospect that parents will cough up $180 to $600 a night to stay at these playgrounds.

Across North America there were 24 indoor water park resorts in 2000. That number rose to more than 80 in 2005, with 71 in the U.S., according to Hotel & Leisure Advisors LLC in Cleveland. Wisconsin has at least 30.

"There's no turning back," said parent Linda Lu, a 36-year-old attorney from Glenview whose young family has grown to love these getaways.

"We have been to hotels with regular indoor pools, and our 5 1/2-year-old is greatly disappointed," she said. "She asks, `Where's the water park? Where's the slide? Where's the tubing?' Kids' expectations are higher now."

Historically, these sorts of properties have been built within a three-hour drive of a major population center, where land and labor tend to be cheaper, said Will Marks, managing director of JMP Securities in San Francisco.

Great Wolf Resorts Inc., based in Madison, Wis., and one of the early operators, "was generating returns on investment of 15 to 20 percent, but as new competition has entered the arena, returns have dropped," he said. "But they are still in the low double-digit range, and that still represents a high return for a real estate investor in today's low-yield markets."

Indeed, investors have taken notice and are trying their hand in metro markets, such as Chicago.

The water parks themselves are costly to build and operate, and often are break-even propositions rather than profit generators, said Ted Mandigo, a hotel consultant based in Elmhurst.

"They take a lot of life guards and a lot of utility costs to heat and circulate the water," he said. "And insurance costs are fairly high."

But their fun quotient is so high that they drive greater numbers of visitors to the resorts, and those visitors are willing to pay a premium.

Occupancy rates tend to be 5 percent to 7 percent greater than for hotels without water parks, Mandigo said. And hotels with water parks can charge $30 to $50 more per night per room.

The suites at Grizzly Falls are expected to go for $250 to $600 a night, while the accommodations at KeyLime Cove will range from $179 to $500. The rates include passes to the water parks, which are open only to hotel guests. And the rates will vary depending on the time of year and the type of accommodation.

Grizzly Falls, which will include a family-style restaurant, a bar and grill, a 10,000-foot spa and 3,000 square feet of meeting space, is being developed by Chicago-based Landmark Resorts & Hotels. The company is led by Craig Stark and Eric Lund, two of the co-founders of Great Wolf, who left that company about a year ago.

The driving force behind KeyLime Cove is Dave Anderson, founder of Famous Dave's of America, which owns, operates and franchises barbecue restaurants. The project will be expanded in a second phase to include 611 rooms and 80,000 square feet of water park.

Illinois has at least two existing indoor water parks linked to hotels or resorts, the Grand Bear Lodge in Utica and the Mayan Adventure Indoor Waterpark/Holiday Inn in Elmhurst, but they are on a smaller scale. Another is planned for the Sheraton Hotel in Arlington Heights, and the idea is being tossed around for Navy Pier.

But, so far, Grizzly Falls and KeyLime Cove are the only two on the scale of those in the Wisconsin Dells, where Great Wolf Lodge is 76,000 square feet and Kalahari Waterpark Resort is 125,000 and growing.

The potential for overbuilding exists, but at this point the big boys in the Dells profess to be unfazed.

As for the smaller parks in Illinois, "we call them the ankle-biters," said Todd Nelson, president and owner of Kalahari Resorts.

And as for the larger projects being unveiled, "the easiest part of the whole deal is announcing them," Nelson said. "Our parks are so big and so well-established that it's a whole different experience."

The Gurnee project is going up in the shadow of Six Flags Great America, which last year opened a 20-acre outdoor water park, Hurricane Harbor.

The massive amusement park "is not really worried about it," said spokesman Jim Taylor, noting the park has 13 roller coasters, Looney Tunes characters, two daily parades and fireworks every night.

"We're an entire theme park," he said.
------------------------------------------------------

http://www.suntimes.com/output/news/...osemont10.html

Rosemont plans water park, theaters

May 10, 2006

BY ART GOLAB Staff Reporter





After working for years to get a casino that never came, the Village of Rosemont is now betting that its future lies with a $500 million entertainment and retail town center-style complex, village officials announced Tuesday.

It will include the largest indoor water park in the state, a 22-screen movie theater, a four-star luxury hotel, a bowling center, offices, retail stores, and an ice rink, much of it surrounding a "pedestrian friendly" town center that will serve as a hub for civic and social events.

The project will give the town of 4,000 a downtown area, which it never had, and add 3,000 permanent jobs.

Village officials said there is still room in the plans for a casino, which has been snarled in litigation for years.

But while the casino, with its license revoked by the state, is now a long shot at best, officials say the entertainment and retail center is a sure thing, and plays to Rosemont's strength as site of the nation's 10th biggest convention center.

"Rosemont today says it will no longer wait for the courts, the Legislature, any state agency or any state official to determine our destiny," said village Trustee Bradley Stephens, son of Mayor Donald Stephens. "Today we chart our own course."

Bradley Stephens credited his father, who founded the town 50 years ago and was not present due to recent surgery, with getting the project, dubbed Rosemont Walk, off the ground.

Blues addition possible



Officials hope the project will solve one of the town's weaknesses: though it has become a meetings mecca thanks to its location near O'Hare Airport, there is little else for conventioneers and tourists to do there.

Part of the solution will be the Grizzly Falls Resort, a $110 million, 100,000-square-foot water park and spa with a 400-suite hotel wrapped around it. It will be built by Landmark Resorts and Hotels, with construction starting in October and its opening scheduled for February 2008.

Another hotel, the four-star $128 million Le Meridien Chicago O'Hare will open in May 2008. It will have 525 rooms and feature an in-house restaurant operated by celeb chef Rick Tramonto.

However, the first project completed will be a 22-screen movie theater that will offer valet parking, reserved seats, child care and a full bar. Set to open in the fall of 2007, it will be operated by Florida-based Muvico Theaters, and its exteriors and interiors will mimic Rococo and Art Deco movie palaces of the past.

The project manager, Sierra Realty Advisors, is still shopping for operators for another hotel and a bowling center, as well as retail and entertainment outlets for the pedestrian town center.

Chicago's blues music heritage might also show up in a development similar to Beale Street in Memphis. "We'd be very happy to have that, it would be great for our convention business,'' said Bradley Stephens.

Street landscaping and signage will link the new development to the existing convention center, Rosemont Theatre, and surrounding hotels.

The area will be bounded by Bryn Mawr to the north, River Road to the east, Interstate 294 on the west and the village boundary on the south. A tunnel under Balmoral Avenue will connect the northern and southern parts of the development.

Bradley Stephens said the village is putting no money into the project except some tax increment financing dollars for infrastructure improvements. The 60 acres of land necessary will be sold by the village to the various developers, though the only deal that has closed so far is for the Le Meridien. Land purchases for the theater and water park are expected to close within 90 days.

'We've waited long enough'



"We need to recoup this money, the residents are going to hang us," said Bradley Stephens, referring to the $40 million plus the village spent on a partially-built casino garage.

A map of the Rosemont Walk development shows an office structure where the steel skeleton of the casino garage currently stands. But the casino and garage site cannot be sold until the casino license issue is finally settled. Emerald Casino is currently appealing the revocation of that license.

"We're going to wait and see what the decision is," said Bradley Stephens. "If the casino's here, fine. If it's not, fine. We've waited long enough. If the casino comes, they will have to develop it around our entertainment district."
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