Springbank Real Estate Group got approval from the Arlington Heights village board Tuesday, September 4, 2018 to pursue revised plans for the 27-acre, $320 million development on the site of the former Sheraton hotel at Euclid Avenue and Rohlwing Road.
Construction crews at the Arlington Downs development at the northeast corner of Euclid Avenue and Rohlwing Road are expected to break ground on a four-story, 116-room hotel called Vib, which is an urban boutique hotel concept of Best Western that would be operated by Indianapolis-based General Hotels Corp. The new hotel plans are smaller than earlier plans, and latest plans place the hotel location in a more southern location — closer to the intersection of Euclid Avenue and Rohlwing Road, and more visible from the street and the proposed retail buildings. Vib is planned along Rohlwing Road, just north of Euclid Avenue.
Best Western’s Vib is promoted as a stylish, contemporary, trendy, social, lively, fun, dynamic, modern, and vibrant hotel facility.
Planners hope groundbreaking will set in motion the second phase of the Arlington Downs mixed-use redevelopment on the far west side of Arlington Heights, just west of Arlington Park International Racecourse. The entire plan will include multiple buildings, as opposed to a strip mall type construction. The boutique hotel, luxury apartment building, climbing wall recreation facility and family entertainment center, which is expected to replace the failed CoCo Key water park that was previously associated with the Sheraton hotel before the high-rise was converted to the luxury apartments tower, One Arlington. The previous developers had touted the CoCo Key water park as a recreational facility that would be so successful, there would be a waiting list to get in.
The new plans for the entire development are less dense than the original plans which were approved in 2012, as Springbank has adjusted to the rapidly changing worldwide retail shopping and entertainment environment and Internet economy. So far One Arlington, with luxury high-rise apartments that overlook Arlington International racecourse and the nearby northwest suburbs, is the only highlight to the property. The One Arlington building also includes 25N Coworking — a co-working office space located on the first floor of the high-rise apartment building at 3400 West Stonegate Boulevard.
“Through the last seven years, what we’re presenting today is an evolution of the market telling us what the site wants to be. At this point, we have a plan that will get done.”
— David Trandel, Springbank’s chairman/CEO
Developers say that construction is scheduled to begin in November 2018 on another luxury apartment building — a five-story, 263-unit apartment building on the southeast corner of the site. The Village of Arlington Heights persuaded Springbank to agree to provide nine apartment units below market rate, and were given $100,000 as a fee in lieu of providing four additional units. Trustees on the village board previously expressed frustration at the lack of affordable housing in Arlington Heights as they approved an apartment building project on Sigwalt Street in downtown Arlington Heights.
A 55-and-older residential building on the southeast corner of the Arlington Downs site, and a 360-unit residential development on the northwest corner of the Arlington Downs site are planned for future phases of the project. David Trandel told trustees that Springbank may be able include less-costly units in those buildings when there is a steady cash flow from the entire Arlington Downs development.
Four different stand alone retail buildings are also proposed, totalling about 40,000 square feet; however, no retail tenants have been secured. Trandel said he envisions a craft brewery and quick-service/sit-down restaurants.
The conversion of the shuttered CoCo Key water park into the climbing facility First Ascent will offer courses for climbers of varying skill, and family entertainment center Funtopia will serve families and children with features that include a smaller climbing wall, jungle gym, ropes courses and party rooms. First Ascent Climbing and Fitness serving Chicagoland currently has four facilities in the City of Chicago, and is already promoting Arlington Heights as a new location coming in 2019. First Ascent has announced that the 30,000 square foot Arlington Heights facility will be their largest facility with a indoor climbing gym that features world-class climbing terrain (28,000 space with up to 55 foot tall climbing), high quality climbing by Walltopia, state-of-the-art fitness equipment (cardio equipment, free weights, and functional training equipment), yoga, fitness classes, and fun events that bring the community together.
The shuttered water park facility is attached to the north side of the One Arlington high-rise.
Trandel estimated it could take five years for the entire Arlington Downs development to reach completion. In addition to Arlington Downs, Springbank has projects in Chicago, Glen Ellyn and Winnetka — including 1900 West Lawrence (Chicago), SB Six Corners (Chicago), The Crescent (Glen Ellyn), and One Winnetka.
Historically, the site at the northeast corner of Euclid Avenue and Rohlwing Road has been the home of the once-busy Sheraton Hotel, a first-floor corporate meeting place, and a high-energy discotheque “Cinderella Rockafella” in the 1980s.
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