Romeoville sports center gets final OK
By Brock A. Stein Correspondent March 7, 2013 8:49AM
An artist rendering shows a 65,000-square-foot recreation center planned in the redevelopment of Spartan Square on Route 53 in Romeoville. | submitted photo
Updated: April 12, 2013 6:05AM
Romeoville officials have given final approval to plans for a municipal events and athletic center that will anchor the redevelopment of the former Spartan Square Plaza along Route 53.
Plainfield-based developer Harbour Contractors and Hitchcock Design Group will oversee construction of the 76,000-square-foot facility that is expected to cost $8.6 million for the base bid and up to $10.5 million with an alternate plan for additional court space.
The center 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 athletic courts, which could include two regulation-size basketball courts.
In addition, the facility will have parking spaces for 312 vehicles with an additional 32 on-street spots.
The precast construction of the building will include a brick façade with a glass portico that faces Route 53.
The site also will include 2.7 acres for the development of retail outlots, with plans for a grocery store.
Funding for the project will come from a tax increment funding (TIF) district that is fed by commercial property taxes and is restricted to economic development within the designated district. TIF funding, said Mayor John Noak, gives the project a stable revenue source to finance the project because it’s based on existing funds, not projections.
“What we have here is a guaranteed funding stream,” said Noak.
After 10 years of planning, the village has moved steadily on the project in recent months, hosting a ground-breaking ceremony in November, and razing a former Jewel-Osco store more recently. The village also hired a marketing firm in December in order to highlight the benefits of the project to developers for the area’s retail component.
Trustee Dave Richards noted that the events center will serve as both a place for families to come for indoor sports like soccer but also will serve as a gathering place for community groups as well. Richards also believes that the center will help drive traffic to the surrounding business district and create a sustainable means to revive the east side of town.
“I think it’s a great way to revitalize that corridor,” said Richards.
While the village is funding the construction of the project, the center will be run by the developer, which will create a tax revenue stream from the facility, something that wouldn’t have happened if the village retained control, Village Administrator Steve Gulden said. He estimates the building will generate about $60,000 in property taxes to reinvest in the TIF district once completed.
In other business, the village approved the formation of a citizens corps council that will be involved with training residents in the event of a disaster or other villagewide calamity.