A developer this week offered formidable plans to redevelop Calumet Nation Membership with a manufacturing unit to construct parts for prefabricated houses in addition to an indoor water park, resort and restaurant.
Vince Bass and Jerry Lewis stated they had been administrators of Catalyst Consulting, which is “the bulk developer at this level”, in keeping with Lewis.
The 130-acre property, northwest of Dixie Freeway and one hundred and seventy fifth Road, is in unincorporated Prepare dinner County after Homewood officers voted in April 2021 to permit the nation membership to spin off from the city.
Adam Winston, a Glenwood administrator who repeatedly hosts Zoom boards known as “Tea and Dialog,” invited Bass and Lewis on Monday to speak concerning the redevelopment proposal, which additionally allowed residents of Homewood and Hazel Crest to ask questions. and categorical their issues.
Catalyst stated it is going to additionally maintain an open neighborhood assembly at 6 p.m. Thursday on the nation membership’s clubhouse, 2136 one hundred and seventy fifth St., to speak about its plans.
Based in 1901 and annexed to Homewood in 1980, the golf course had lately been proposed as a web site for as much as 800,000 sq. ft of warehouse area by proprietor Walt Brown Jr. Homewood officers rejected the plan earlier than accepting the logout.
South Suburbs for Greenspace is a gaggle made up largely of Homewood residents who’ve banded collectively to battle towards the warehouse’s preliminary improvement.
“Our objective has at all times been to stop an industrial improvement from being there,” Liz Varmecky, the group’s founder, stated on the discussion board. “We do not need warehouses, we do not need industrial improvement there.”
“We expect it is a stable undertaking,” Bass stated.
Lewis stated he had a background in business actual property improvement and believed the undertaking might create 3,000 jobs, together with 400 at a manufacturing unit producing parts for manufactured houses, with wages at that manufacturing unit at the very least $55,000. per yr. The general improvement might create 4,000 development jobs, he stated.
“This idea is neighborhood pleasant,” he stated in the course of the discussion board.
For now, it is simply that, an idea, with Catalyst and Brown needing a municipal accomplice to supply the important connection to utilities corresponding to sewer and water.
That accomplice might be Hazel Crest, which borders the golf course on three sides, and the village mayor stated there had been preliminary talks about annexation, however nothing extra.
Lewis stated a part of these talks would come with a tax improve funding district overlaying property, with elevated tax income generated from any improvement serving to to pay for some infrastructure prices.
“Now we have completely no dedication from the village” concerning annexation or TIF, Lewis stated.
He stated what’s proposed is a deliberate unit improvement with retail area, together with a grocery retailer, in addition to a warehouse, a pet-friendly resort, an indoor sports activities middle with basketball courts. and a neighborhood middle, Lewis stated.
Lewis stated the plan was rigorously thought out with the assistance of a marketing consultant.
“We did not simply toss something on the wall and say, ‘Hey, let’s pacify the neighborhood,'” Matteson resident Lewis stated.
Gary Dingle, president of the South Suburban Chicago department of the NAACP, was additionally concerned in Greenspace’s efforts to dam industrial improvement on the property.
Requested by Dingle on the discussion board whether or not the parts Lewis has laid out, corresponding to a resort and retail area, might stand on their very own with out storage, Lewis stated storage is “the necessity most vital and most vital”.
“The neighborhood would not need vans, they do not need warehouses,” Dingle stated.
Hazel Crest residents who participated within the dialogue, together with Penny Catlett who stated she lives about six blocks from the property, expressed concern that any warehouse or industrial improvement might contribute to extra air pollution and have an effect on the worth properties.
Lewis stated plans are to keep up 30 acres of inexperienced area on the property, and that Catalyst will relocate the timber and supply a “multitude of timber”, with timber “across the perimeter of the complete improvement and all all through improvement itself.
Bass stated Catalyst realizes any potential redevelopment is “larger than only a Homewood difficulty” and the corporate plans to unfold extra details about the undertaking to surrounding areas.
“Our foremost objective is to teach individuals,” he stated. “We sit up for extra open discussions and dialogue.”
“We attempt to do what’s finest for Hazel Crest,” Bass stated.
Arizona-based Diversified Companions paid $3.3 million in fall 2020 for possession of the golf course. Brown is the founder and CEO of the corporate.
Lewis stated Catalyst now has “management of the land” however not possession, though that may change.
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“Finally, Catalyst will personal the complete land,” he stated. “When the undertaking begins, we would be the majority proprietor.”
Memos exchanged between Hazel Crest officers, obtained this summer season by Greenspace by way of a public data request, present expressed doubts concerning the business viability of sure components of Catalyst’s proposal.
In one of many exchanges, Hazel Crest Village Solicitor John Murphey says he’s cautious of proposed retail plans alongside a strip of Dixie Freeway, already in Hazel Crest, in addition to parts corresponding to a resort.
Murphey stated in a July 11 electronic mail to Mayor Vernard Alsberry and Village Administrator Dante Sawyer that he doesn’t imagine there’s a marketplace for a resort, given the variety of lodges within the space. east of Hazel Crest on the intersection of Hwy 80/94 and Halsted Road. That is additionally the place a on line casino is deliberate, which can embrace a resort.
The lawyer additionally doubts the indoor water park provided by Catalyst.
“What market is there for such a facility and who will make investments? ” He requested.
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