of a luxury hotel on the land currently occupied by the Highland
Park Country Club was recommended to the Highland Park City Council today
Manager David Knapp during his initial presentation of the 2014 budget.
"If we can find a hotel operator to put up a four or five star hotel we will get hotel tax revenue. There would be a benefit there," Knapp said. "We would have to find a hotel operator who wanted a golf course,” he added indicating that as a requirement.
Knapp estimates revenue of at least $350,000 from an asset which is projected to cost the City $11,000 next year. He believes a final decision including an entity to run the project is approximately two years away.
The project would not hinder the Highland Park Recreation Center which is adjacent to the country club. “They could make a deal to make it their fitness center,” Knapp said. “It would be some revenue for the Park District (of Highland Park).”
Mayor Nancy Rotering welcomed the idea after today’s City Council meeting. “There’s been interest in a nice hotel for a while,” she said. It has been discussed as part of the Highland Park Theater disposition and the former site of Saks Fifth Avenue.
The idea of turning a financial drain into a revenue producing asset was appealing to Councilman David Naftzger. “It’s an intriguing idea,” he said. “It’s always good to look at a more commercial use (for the property).”
Council Narrows Field of Potential Theater Operators
Rotering also told the Council and those in attendance t the meeting the City’s legislative body had narrowed the potential bidders for the Highland Park Theater property to three—AMC Entertainment, Big Rock LLC and Alcyon Foundation.
AMC was unable to meet with the City and would have to show more interest to be considered, according to Rotering. Alcyon and Big Rock would both include movies and other components to their proposals. They will both present more details to the City over the next few months.
Patch will have a more detailed story about the theater later this week along with other issues discussed at Monday’s meeting.