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  • Megann Horstead

Developments for grocery store, restaurant and arcade could take place


The Village of New Lenox is eyeing a new development for the northwest corner of the intersection joining Route 30 and Vancina Lane.

As such, the Board of Trustees unanimously decided Sept. 11 to accept a proposal requested by an interested party for professional traffic planning services.

The three-building retail development as proposed includes a 65,000 square-foot grocery store, 15,000 square feet of retail and a 12,350 square-foot restaurant. It includes access by means of Route 30 through a restricted entryway and off Vancina Lane.

“This parcel has been vacant for a long time,” Mayor Tim Baldermann said. “We’d like to see it developed, and we think it has great potential with its location on Route 30.”

To date, the parcel of land in question is owned by InSite Real Estate and has been vacant more than 20 years.

The services itemized in the proposal presented to trustees are anticipated to cost in the range of $5,500 and $6,000, with additional compensation paid hourly for professional staff time to attend meetings and hearings. The interested party intends to contract out the work performed to SPACECO, Inc., an independent engineer. The Village is covering the cost upfront, and is in agreement with the potential purchaser of the property to be reimbursed by 75%.

“This is a matter of due diligence to see if it makes sense,” Village Administrator Kurt Carroll said.

Currently, the potential purchaser is in talks with the landlords. There is a 90-day timeframe for which the contract details are to be ironed out. At that point, Baldermann said he will announce the names of the new businesses.

Trustees grant special use for virtual reality business

The Village of New Lenox is closer to adding a new virtual reality amusement establishment.

Josh Schoeling, the owner of Genesis VR, LLC, intends to do business at 416 Nelson Rd.

“It’s a virtual reality headset,” he said, referring to his business venture. “It does have two controllers, as well. It gives you two options: you can play in the play area or if it is handicap accessible, you can play in a seated position, as well. It does run off of a computer system, so the games are a little bit more advanced… It’s very fun, and you know, pretty intuitive.”

Schoeling went on to say the facility is geared toward individuals age 16 to 24, though all ages are welcome.

Trustee Annette Bowden questioned the petitioner’s plan and wanted to know how much of a crowd the business could draw.

“The reason I ask that is [to find out if] parking is going to be adequate because of the draw this might have?” she asked.

Schoeling refuted the concern and said it’s not a very big facility.

The owner intends to run a 1,533 square-foot business in a manner that allows four people to play at a given time.

Assistant Village Administrator Robin Ellis explained further that unlike a retail development, the virtual reality establishment possesses a lesser parking requirement.

The development as presented meets the criteria set forth by the Village’s zoning ordinance to qualify for a special use.

The Planning Commission held a public hearing Sept. 5, at which point no objections were raised.

Genesis VR is not intended by the owner to sell alcohol or food.

The owner asked Village staff to waive the first read to allow the Board of Trustees to consider granting a special use and wanted to advance plans to open the establishment as soon as possible.

Round it up

A brief recap of action and discussion from the Sept. 11 regular meeting of the New Lenox Village Board of Trustees:

  • Trustees agreed to reject a bid allowing for the expansion of wastewater treatment plan No. 2. The board’s action will save the Village approximately $19 million on a project, which might require replacement at a later date, Village staff said.

  • The Board of Trustees authorized a fourth amendment to a real estate purchasing agreement with CVS Pharmacy. That decision allows for a 60-day extension to the primary contract terms that will end on Oct. 30 without further amendments.

  • Officials OK’d a proposal granting construction engineering services for the Cedar Road water main replacement project. The Village is to pay an estimated $317,000 to Christopher B. Burke Engineering, LTD to satisfy this aim. Construction is anticipated for March 2018 with a completion date set for Nov. 2, 2018.

  • The board went on to authorize a proposal providing for the construction materials engineering services for the Cedar Road water main replacement project. New Lenox officials are allotting $5,300 to cover the cost.

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