Plans for Romeoville events center take shape
By Brock A. Stein Correspondent February 8, 2013 8:14AM
Updated: March 11, 2013 6:38AM
Romeoville officials recently got a first look at a concept plan for the Spartan Square downtown redevelopment.
With demolition of a former Jewel-Osco completed this fall, the village is moving forward with approval of a plan for a 76,000-square-foot sports and recreation center that will be built on the 10-acre site at the corner of Route 53 and Phelps Avenue.
Future plans for the area include a 65,000-square-foot grocery store and other retail outlots.
Phase 1 of the site will include the development of the 2.7-acre recreation center that will include 52,578 square feet on the first floor, a 7,000-square-foot mezzanine and an option for another 17,000-square-foot area for basketball or volleyball courts.
The facility will have a parking lot with space for 312 vehicles, and there will be an additional 32 on-street parking spots.
The pre-cast construction of the building will include a brick façade with a glass portico that faces Route 53.
Economic development director Steve Rockwell expects final approval of the site plan by the planning commission in February or March.
Funding will come from a tax increment funding (TIF) district, which does not come from sales or residential property taxes. TIF funding is restricted to economic development projects, said Rockwell.
After about 10 years of planning, the village has been moving rapidly in recent months to move the project forward.
Village Administrator Steve Gulden said that the center will serve as a catalyst that will drive further development in the area. Already, he said there has been interest for developing more retail at the site, including a much needed grocery store for the east side of the village.
“When [developers] start seeing something real, it seems to matter,” Gulden said.
Utility work is expected to begin soon, said Assistant Village Administrator Dawn Caldwell, with a planned completion date of December for the events center.