Did CL Park District Miss Opportunity?

The Wheaton Park District got $2.4 million to buy a store like this. The Salvation Army's feed Haiti event is seen.

The Wheaton Park District snagged a $2.4 million grant from State government to buy an old Sears store.

(Where the State found the spare $50 million for park purposes is a legitimate question that won’t be explored here.)

The old Sears store is near a park.

It will be converted into a fieldhouse.

The Crystal Lake Park District is making sounds about running a referendum to build a community center.

One of the ideas I floated two years ago was buying the old Cub Food grocery store or abandoned Walmart in the dying shopping center behind the new Colonial Cafe.

Both buildings are next to a park–Vulcan Lakes.

Oops, I mean TORA, the Three Oaks Recreation Area.

Unfortunately the Crystal Lake-owned facility has a drainage ditch between the buildings and the old gravel pit, but it’s close.

Maybe a bridge could be built to link the two.

The underused shopping center next to the old Vulcan gravel pit.

Of course, the City of Crystal Lake might require a toll booth.


Did CL Park District Miss Opportunity? — 2 Comments

  1. Why the park district is pursuing a community center is beyond the belief scope of many people. It’s common knowledge that many communities are strapped for funds. So regardless of where they put it they are going to be strapped for cash down the road. We all know that means more RE taxes to build and maintain it.

    Isn’t there a smart one among our ‘officials’ that they need to cut the fat and the day dreams they have. People are just about to the breaking point and when the kettle boils over you have a mess. Someone is going to need a lot of mops.

    Seems like our politicans are pretty good at creating a vicious circle.

  2. I thought I read that JC Penney’s owned the store and property now.

    From what I read, they are not in an expansion mode and just closed their anchor store at Springhill Mall.

    So perhaps the Park District could get the land for a bargain, a much better one than when they wanted to pay full price for the old Viking Dodge propery (and not taking into account traffic or soil remediation issues).

    Of course, you have the City of Crystal Lake operating a facility (TORA) that in any other community would be operated by its Park District. You have government bodies operating competing facilities.

    Where is the good government sense in that? And given the competition, there’s no way either governmental body would allow there to be a bridge between the other’s facility. By the way, I’m still waiting for the development to start along NW Highway. You know, the development that TORA was supposed to bring.

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