Proposed ‘Colosseum’ set for public hearing Tuesday

Cars drive by the intersection of Longmeadow Parkway and South Randall Road on May 15 in Algonquin.
Cars drive by the intersection of Longmeadow Parkway and South Randall Road on May 15 in Algonquin.

The public can give their thoughts and comments on a proposed entertainment/retail/housing development in Algonquin at a hearing.

Also known as “the Colosseum,” the proposed development would be a 112-acre mixed use property located at the northeast corner of the intersection of Randall Road and Longmeadow Parkway.

The public hearing on the development, and the preliminary draft of an annexation agreement for it, is set for 7:45 p.m. Tuesday in the Village Board Room of the Ganek Municipal Center.

A portion of the property is unincorporated. With the annexation agreement, it would be brought under Algonquin’s jurisdiction and corporate authority, said Russ Farnum, community development director.

As previously reported, the property owner, Troy Mertz, wants to build an entertainment and retail space on 23 acres of a 39-acre parcel of land.

According to village documents, Mertz envisions this being a dynamic entertainment hub, similar to the one in Rosemont.

Russ Farnum, community development director, said this particular property will be a center open space field.

“What’s proposed by the developer is an [artificial], full-size football, soccer, lacrosse field to be used in almost any weather condition,” Farnum said. “[It’s] surrounded by public plazas. It could be used for a farmers’ market or any open space events.”

Clustered around that at the northeast corner, he said, is a small band shell where the village could have community concerts. One side of the band shell is for larger concerts, and the other could be for a more smaller events, such as a poetry reading or some classes, Farnum said. Around that area would be restaurants and entertainment venues.

Mertz also wants to build a luxury apartment complex, which would have about 300 units, 150 townhomes and 50 single-family detached lots, to the north and east of that property according to village documents.

According to the Planning and Zoning Commission minutes, several residents had concerns about the increase in traffic such a development would bring to the area, and questioned the need for the apartment buildings.

However, Farnum said, the entertainment hub would be “nowhere near” the same scale of those found in larger areas.

“It’s really more on the scale of the community concerts you see at Riverfront Park over the summer,” he said.

Farnum said this development would not have the same volume of people, traffic, noise and congestion as those found in entertainment hubs in bigger cities.

“It’s not intended for that at all,” he said.

The Colosseum was approved, 7-0, by the commission back in April. Farnum said he anticipates that a discussion on the Colosseum would come up at the Committee of the Whole in November.

The entertainment hub, retail space and housing are all part of the same development. After it is developed, it will be subdivided and sold to individual owners, Farnum said.

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