West DuPage communities look ahead to 201
By Michelle Manchir, Chicago Tribune reporter
Wheaton to see new stores, downtown development; Glen Ellyn golfers to get new clubhouse, driving range
Here are just a few of the stories that will play out in West DuPage County towns in the new year.
Glen Ellyn Golf Course renovation
Glen Ellyn’s Village Links 18-hole course at 485 Winchell Way is expected to get a new banquet facility, an addition to its clubhouse, new parking and other improvements this year, said Matt Pekarek, the village’s recreation manager. Mild temperatures in the fall allowed for a good portion of the work to be completed, though concrete and paving work won’t be started until after winter. Major construction is expected to be complete by June 1.
The $6.3 million project, approved late last year by the board of trustees, is funded largely by bonds, which officials say will be paid off with golf course revenue.
Proponents of the project said it’s been sorely needed. The course’s clubhouse, built in 1968, was most recently remodeled in 1984 with a restaurant addition, according to village documents.
Plans for the upgrade include, among other elements, a 150-seat banquet room and bar in addition to parking in the circle drive near the clubhouse, new street lights and an expanded driving range tee.
Some trustees voiced skepticism last year before approving the sale of bonds because the estimated costsincreased by millions. Still, Pekarek told trustees the facility’s needs were ongoing and the project was needed now..
“This is still a good time to do it from an interest-rate standpoint,” he said. “We would only expect construction costs would be more expensive as we go forward.”
The course is not expected to close during construction. The 18-hole course is closed for the winter, but a 9-hole course on temporary tees and greens is open every day for die-hard golfers. The driving range, restaurant and other holes will reopen in spring.
New places to shop and live are expected to open in Wheaton and Glen Ellyn.
Mariano’s Fresh Market plans to open in October at the corner of Naperville Road and Roosevelt Road, former site of Hubble Middle School and Wheaton Central High School.
The store, as described by development officials to the Wheaton City Council last year, is expected to include fresh sushi, a café, an extensive floral department and more. Proponents say it will bring a much needed grocery to the downtown area.
“People that really didn’t have a reason or want to come to Wheaton will now come visit our city just for the sake of going to Mariano’s,” said Mayor Michael Gresk.
Also in Wheaton, a new six-story luxury apartment complex, dubbedWheaton 121, is expected to open at 121 N. Cross St., across from the Wheaton Public Library.
The complex, according to initial plans, is expected to include a swimming pool, dog run, “resort-style courtyard,” and video theater, among other amenities, according to the developer, Morningside Group.
In Glen Ellyn, among the new retail options is The Fresh Market, which could open in the fall at the former Packey Webb Dodge Dealership at 285 Roosevelt Road.
The village board in November approved business terms with the developer and plans call for the market to be an anchor of a shopping center, Glen Market. More spaces for other tenants, none of which has been named publicly, are expected to be available.
The Fresh Market grocery store chain attempts to “convey the atmosphere of an old world European market, all under one roof, where you can visit an array of departments: our old-style butcher shop and fish market, bakery, produce and floral stands, and delicatessen,” according to the store’s website.
Glen Ellyn officials hope to continue to spark development along Roosevelt Road. In December, village staff presented trustees with a plan of creating a special taxing district, or a TIF, for underdeveloped portions of Roosevelt Road. That plan is expected to move forward over the course of the year.
A mayoral race in West Chicago and village president races in Winfield and Glen Ellyn will highlight the April 9 municipal elections.
In Wheaton, Mayor Micheal Gresk’s term does not end until 2015. Still, Wheaton voters will see some new faces on its City Council since five seats on the six-member board are up for election. One is that of Jeanne Ives, who was elected to the Illinois House of Representatives.
Possibility of strike looms in West Chicago
The teachers union in West Chicago Elementary School District 33 filed a notice of intent to strike on Dec. 21, but negotiations continue with the school board. Sessions with a federal mediator are set for Thursday and Friday, said the board President Chris Scheck.
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