Lakewood’s Fall Newsletter Brings News on SportsPlex

Extracted and reproduced below are the contents of Lakewood’s fall newsletter which concern the SportsPlex. It was issued in early October, but not emailed to me until yesterday. From talking to my subdivision’s president, it was not sent to her for redistribution to Country Club Property owners.

From the Village President

In the previous edition of the newsletter, I provided an update about the annexation of 565 acres of new property into our community. It was an important step in realizing our long-term vision for commercial development along the Route 47 and Route 176 corridors. Since that time, the Board of Trustees has taken another major step in accomplishing this goal.

Sports Complex

On July 27, the Board of Trustees unanimously approved a Special Use/Planned Unit Development for a 165 acre sports complex at the intersection of Route 47 and Route 176.

The project consists of

  • a 5 acre retail component at the entrance;
  • a 150,000 square foot facility for indoor sports including a retail and restaurant component; numerous soccer, baseball, and softball fields;
  • a “miracle” field for use by physically challenged athletes;
  • a non-motorized BMX track; and
  • a skate park.

A rendering is available for viewing at Village Hall between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. or it can be accessed on our website.

The biggest misconception about this project is that it is being paid for or subsidized with taxpayer funds.

This is simply not true.

The $18M in ARRA Recovery Zone Bonds (RZB) will be purchased by individual investors. The RZB designation simply provides certain tax benefits to the private investor.

Similarly, the $36M in foreign investment will come from individuals who
choose to participate in the EB-5 program in order to expedite their citizenship process.

As a part of our agreement with the developer, the Village will work to obtain $5M in grants and sponsorships for the project.

Examples of grants that have already been submitted include one for a bicycle path along Pleasant Valley Road and for the proposed intersection improvements at Route 176 and Pleasant Valley Road (reconfigured). If the Village cannot secure these funds after a 5 year period, the revenue sharing formulas will be revised to make up the difference.

At no time, however, will residents of the Village of Lakewood be taxed to fulfill this commitment.

The Village has also made a commitment to provide water and sewer utilities to the site.

While this commitment may have been prompted by this project, the Village has always understood that utilities would have to be provided in order for commercial development to occur.

While a traditional extension of water and sewer mains is an option, the Village is also exploring the provision of utilities on site. Studies are still being conducted, and a detailed discussion will occur at a Board Meeting once more detailed information has been compiled.

There has been a great deal of discussion and speculation about the “need” for such a complex and its longterm viability.

Plan for the McHenry County SportsPlex.

Please know that the bond counsel, Stern Brothers, required that an independent feasibility study be performed and, based on its findings, is moving forward with the sale of the bonds.

Because of the financing structure of the project, which is primarily equity and not debt, the long term viability of the project is significantly greater than projects with traditional financing. The business plan for the project is not available to the public, because it is not financed with public funds. As with any private equity company, the business plan is confidential competitive information.

The sports complex is a project of regional significance, and we firmly believe that it will spur ancillary development such as retail, hotels and restaurants. It is a unique destination that reflects our commitment to the highest environmental standards.

The project is a definitive statement as we move to implement our strategic vision for commercial development within the Village of Lakewood, and I strongly encourage you to contact me or our Village Manager directly if you have any questions.


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The newsletter has more information, of course, including the following with regard to running for the board next spring:


Candidate packets for the position of Trustee are available at Village Hall between the
hours of 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. There are 3 positions open for 4-year terms and 1
position open for a 2-year term. Nomination papers must be filed at Village Hall
between December 13, 2010 and December 20, 2010. More detailed information is
available on the Village’s website or the candidate packets.

Phone numbers are given for village officials:

Village President Erin Smith – (815) 356-8005

Village Trustees

  • John Burton – (815) 444-1790
  • J. Carl Davis – (815) 459-2685
  • Gene Furey – (708) 373-0606
  • Blake Hobson—(815) 341-2495
  • Julie Richardson—(815) 356-6967
  • Kenneth Santowski – (815) 356-8443

Village Manager Catherine J. Peterson – (815) 459-3025

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One additional word. This is the type of information that should have been distributed prior to the night in which the zoning was granted and deal approved by village officials.


Lakewood’s Fall Newsletter Brings News on SportsPlex — 2 Comments

  1. A lot of wishful thinking is built into the sportsplex proposal. And the village is anticipating at least a 10+ year return on the utiltities investment. That is just not appealing.

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