Plans for a 43-acre fitness, recreation and entertainment complex in Lincolnshire got a rough reception from residents and trustees during a public hearing Monday night.
A developer wants to build a three-story, 65,000-square-foot Topgolf facility and a 450,000-square-foot fitness center to be called The St. James on the site, which now is a mostly unused office park north of Route 22 and west of the Tri-State Tollway.
Medline Industries owns the property but has never occupied it. The site needs to be rezoned for the proposed businesses.
Chicago-based developer GlenStar Properties is behind the plan, made public in December.
But many people whose homes are near the site are concerned about the noise, traffic and nighttime light the businesses would create. Dozens of them packed the boardroom and an overflow room at village hall for a public hearing about the plan Monday night, and they shared their displeasure with officials.
Some even heckled Rand Diamond, a GlenStar representative, as he summarized the company's plan for the board and the large audience.
When Diamond tried to assure the crowd that the businesses will be appropriate "for the conservative nature of Lincolnshire," several people tittered and a woman exclaimed, "Yeah, right."
Moments later, when he referred to Topgolf customers as "classier clientele," many people in the crowd laughed.
Diamond was undeterred, telling the crowd his company and the Topgolf and The St. James people want to work with the community.
Tanner Micheli, the director of real estate development for Topgolf, tried to soothe the crowd, too. He invited residents to come to the facility if it's built and speak with key staffers about their concerns.
"We will do everything in our power to be a good neighbor," Micheli said. "We're excited about this opportunity."
But opposition was strong, even on the village board. Trustee Tom McDonough said the GlenStar request for rezoning and a special use permit for the businesses "isn't worth the paper it's printed on" because a traffic-impact study and other elements are missing.
Diamond said the company plans to do such a study if the proposal progresses.
"But without that nod (from the board) ... we probably wouldn't go forward," Diamond said.
Trustee Mara Grujanac said she wants to see traffic, sound and light studies, too. She also objected to the abundance of neon lights in GlenStar's architectural images of Topgolf facilities.
"That's just not Lincolnshire," she said.
After Diamond, Micheli and trustees spoke, many audience members lined up at a microphone to share their opinions.
The board took no action.