If you've driven by the former Sheraton Hotel property that will one day become the Arlington Downs, you will see that progress has begun.
There are mounds of pulverized asphault in front of the structure at the corner of Euclid and Rohlwing Road in Arlington Heights, resulting from recent demolition of portions of the parking lot, the old conference center, meeting and ballroom space and the former hotel lobby.
In all, 65,000 square feet of the structure has been knocked down after the granting of demoltion and building permits from the Village of Arlington Heights.
The project is a true partnership between a number of different entities. Argent Group, a development company with an impressive portfolio, will provide a service/development role.
Stoneleigh Companies from Barrington will entirely handle the residential components of the future development. That will include, according to David Trandel of Argent Group, Tower 1, which will include a complete redevelopment of the former Sheraton Hotel stucture itself.
"The building will be gutted to create a skeleton that will include a virtually all-glass front, with balconies-a very downtown feel," Trandel said.
Among the other amenities in what will become 214 luxury apartments, will include rooftop cabanas, secure underground parking and a restaurant, Trandel said.
Groundbreaking on that project is expected by the beginning of February.
An additional aim of the project will include a Four Points Sheridan Select Hotel with 160 keys, newly built along Rohlwing Road. A health club and pool would be included, Trandel said.
Groundbreaking on that project is expected in mid-March.
Tower 2, expected to be built and operational by 2016, will have 450 additional apartment units to the north of the present hotel building.
Trandel said the most prolific water park operator out of the Wisconsin Dells, who cannot yet be named, will partner in revamping the former Coco Key water park, and creating a family entertainment center with a variety of events and activites.
In addition to two separate apartment towers, and a new hotel and water park, Trandel said, there will be a handfull of free-standing restaurants built along and in from Euclid. A specialty grocer and other retail opportunties also are planned.
"The goal is to create synergy not only in this development, but with the Village of Arlington Heights, Arlington Heights Race Track and the Arlington Park Metra Station," Trandel said.
Relationships already are being built through partnerships with Arlington Park to create a walking and bike track linking the development to the Metra station and the race track, Trandel said.
Total acquisition of the property had a $12 million price tag for the entire 25 acres. The hotel building alone cost $7.7 million.
Financing for the project is being provided by Cleveland, Ohio-based Key Bank.
In January of 2012, the Arlington Heights Plan Commission approved the Arlington Downs proposed $250 redevelopment project at the former Sheraton Hotel site, located at 3400 Euclid Avenue.
Then in early June 2012, the Arlington Heights Village Board approved adjustments to that plan that included more studio and one-bedroom apartments, in addition to increased parking spots, and a health center on the site.
The Sheraton Hotel officially closed its doors in December of 2009.