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Sunday, June 13, 2010

New Development in IL

Local resident Luigi DeAngelis is proposing to build a tennis and racquetball club on nine acres he owns on Grand Avenue west of Route 45, just east of Lindenhurst.

A public hearing to rezone the property from agricultural to commercial is scheduled for June 22 at 1 p.m. at Lake Villa Township Center, 37908 N. Fairfield Road.

DeAngelis, the manager of One Park Place Ventures, proposes to build Southfield Racquet Sports Club on a wedge of property that includes a significant area of wetlands.

DeAngelis said the development will not affect the wetlands, and he said he wants to enhance the area with boardwalks to attract bird watchers and nature lovers.

"At the rear of property is an existing structure that would be converted to offices. The rest of the property would be for indoor tennis and racquetball courts and parking," said DeAngelis. "An offshoot of the development would be a wetland appreciation area because the property also contains high-quality wetlands that will be preserved."

DeAngelis bought the property in March 2008, hoping to develop a hotel or conference center to coincide with the adjacent Village Green retail center, which was pulled from development when the economy took a downturn.

He regrouped and came up with the racquet sports center.

"I played a lot of racquetball when I was younger and a lot of folks in the community have showed interest in racquet sports. I can also envision other uses, including badminton. I would also like to offer other kinds of classes, including yoga and tai chi," said DeAngelis.

His goal is to keep the outside area quiet and serene, while inside will be the hustle and bustle of racquet sports.

He is proposing air domes to house the two 12,000-square-foot tennis courts that can be taken down during the summer months to provide outdoor tennis facilities. Racquetball will be indoor all year round. The building will be attached to an existing structure on the property. The existing building near Grand Avenue will also house the clubhouse, men's and women's locker room, lounge and showers.

"We plan to offer lessons for different age groups and skill levels. We will have a pro shop and carry name-brand equipment." DeAngelis said he is talking to tennis pros to get them involved in the new center and he will hire a manager.

The property will be served with private well and septic systems and there is no plan in the near future to annex to Lindenhurst. He is working with IDOT to design a safe entry driveway into and out onto Grand Avenue. He would like to start building this summer and have it ready for fall opening, said DeAngelis. "So far, the county has been super easy to work with," he said. "I want this to be a good development and enhance the surrounding communities."

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