Algonquin to vote on wellness center plan

Project differs from original proposal for site

ALGONQUIN – The Algonquin Village Board is set to vote on a plan for a proposed wellness center and med spa at the Esplanade development – a deviation from what was originally envisioned at the location.

The original project concept called for multistory buildings with a mix of retail, offices and apartments.

“That doesn’t seem to be the case here,” said Trustee Jim Steigert said at a recent Algonquin Committee of the Whole meeting.

Developer Ali Hyderi is proposing to build a 14,120-square-foot medical office building at 2430 Esplanade Drive.

The tenants would be a doctors’ group specializing in holistic health and comprehensive medical care, and a medical and aesthetic spa.

The Village Board is scheduled on Tuesday to vote on whether to allow the project to move forward and grant Hyderi a special-use permit.

Hyderi wouldn’t comment on how much he planned to invest in the property and added that he didn’t have a timeframe for the project.

“We just like the market,” Hyderi said. “We feel it’s a positive community.”

The business would start off with eight employees, but once it’s fully operational, developers expect to have up to 22 employees.

The Esplanade was approved in 2005, when the economy was much stronger, and it was expected to include 13 buildings, one to three stories tall, on about 29 acres in the Algonquin Corporate Campus. Village officials expected the $37 million project to be like nothing else on Randall Road.

However, the economy tanked. The construction of 280 apartments on part of the project was allowed to move forward in 2008. The original plan called for 120 residential units as part of the development.

Currently there is a single-story multi-tenant building, two three-story multi-tenant buildings and a Hobby Lobby at the Esplanade.

Village President John Schmitt said the original concept of the Esplanade was meant to be developed as a buffer from retail into residential and office space, to the light industry and heavy industry.

Schmitt said the original residential plan for the area was condos, but those weren’t selling.

“I think from a standpoint of creating residential to support our businesses ... I think the apartments was a very smart move,” Schmitt said. “At the same time, we need to keep in mind what we wanted to accomplish with this. It wasn’t just to fill space with something that gives us revenue, but it’s something to create jobs, as well as revenue, as well as upscale residential and restaurants, and some very nice other amenities.”

Schmitt said the medical office building plan was not what was initially envisioned for the area.

“I’m not trying to say we should turn this down, I think we should really keep in mind the overall goal for the last 20 years ... has been to generate jobs, not just income for the village,” Schmitt said.

Steigert said he didn’t have any issues the proposed building, but added he hoped the area would develop with mixed uses of office space and residential space.

“That’s what I don’t want to see get sacrificed in this process just because the economy is lukewarm,” Steigert said.

Trustee Debby Sosine said she though the business could be viable.

“I think if we want more activity on Randall Road, and our residents to succeed, the more people we get over there, whether its residential or business, the better off we’re going to be as a whole,” Sosine said.

If you go

What: Algonquin Village Board meeting

When: 7:30 p.m. Tuesday

Where: Ganek Municipal Center, 2200 Harnish Drive

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