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Chicago Daily Herald


A real estate developer wants to convert a mostly unused Lincolnshire office campus into a sprawling fitness, recreation and entertainment complex that would include the Chicago area's third Topgolf facility.

The 43-acre site also would house The St. James - a 450,000-square-foot fitness center offering an indoor water park, sports fields, NHL-sized ice rinks, a health club and many other amenities.

"This development will create a premier sports and entertainment venue for Lincolnshire, Lake County and the entire North suburban market," said Rand A. Diamond, a managing principal with Chicago-based developer GlenStar Properties.

GlenStar is eyeing land north of Route 22 and west of the Tri-State Tollway for the development.

Medline Industries has owned the property since January 2015, but the medical supply giant has never occupied it. When it bought the land, Medline was headquartered in Mundelein and was looking to expand its offices. Later in the year, however, the company bought a 70-acre campus in Northfield and moved its headquarters there - and the plans for the Lincolnshire site evaporated.

Aon Hewitt - the firm that sold the Lincolnshire site to Medline - still operates a data center in an office building there. Two other office buildings are unused. The existing office buildings and a maintenance building would be demolished to make way for Topgolf and The St. James, said Tonya Zozulya, Lincolnshire's economic development coordinator.

Additionally, the property is heavily wooded, and "significant" tree removal would be needed to build the facilities, according to a village memo. Many of the trees are dead or in decline, the memo said. On a more positive environmental note, GlenStar expects to preserve existing wetlands along Route 22.

The redevelopment plan was unveiled last week during the Lincolnshire village board's committee-of-the-whole meeting. Trustees took no formal action but agreed to forward the proposal to the village's architectural review board for closer analysis.

The Topgolf facility would be built at the northeast corner of the property. It primarily would consist of a 65,000-square-foot, three-story building that would house a multilevel driving range, restaurants and spaces for private parties, village documents indicate. Topgolf has centers in Naperville and Wood Dale, and in more than 40 locations across the nation and in the United Kingdom.

The Lincolnshire operation could employ 400 to 500 people and serve some 400,000 customers annually, Diamond said in a letter to the village board.

The St. James would be built in the property's southeast corner. The St. James is a new fitness business. The Virginia-based company's first facility is planned for that state and is scheduled for a September 2018 opening, according to its Facebook page. Its Lincolnshire facility could employ 300 to 400 people and see about 1.5 million visitors annually, Diamond said. Although The St. James primarily would be a membership-based business, it could host athletic tournaments and showcases that would be open to spectators, Diamond said.

Mayor Liz Brandt is among the plan's fans at village hall. She predicted it will "put Lincolnshire on the map as a fun destination." Additionally, Brandt likes that the development would generate sales tax revenue for the village and not add children to local schools. Trustee Karen Feldman called the overall proposal "a wonderful idea." She believes some existing Lincolnshire businesses could benefit financially from the customers the complex eventually attracts. "Hotels could really see an influx," she said.

The project doesn't have a timeline yet. It must be considered by the architectural review board and return to the village board for a public hearing and additional discussion.

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December 18, 2017


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