- Jul 20, 2018
Village Trustees recently weighed in on a proposal submitted by North Shore Sports and Wellness (NSSW) to locate a multi-use sports complex at a property in the Sky Harbor Business park at 555 Huehl Road. NSSW proposes redeveloping the existing 78,500 square foot building to accommodate the relocation of Joy of the Game and several other sports related businesses and a school that they currently operate in Deerfield.
Previously, NSSW had considered a site in Sky Harbor at 3401 Commercial Ave. but Trustees and neighboring property owners voiced major concerns regarding the amount of parking during peak hours of operation and large events. Concerns were also raised with large trucks operating in Sky Harbor around the clock, while the proposed uses involve children and increased car traffic at the site.
The primary use of the building would be Joy of the Game, a membership sports and recreation club serving all ages. Plans would include raising the roof to accommodate the four basketball/volleyball courts used by various organizations for different sports programming including floor hockey, soccer, basketball, baseball, football and volleyball. Six other stand-alone businesses would also be located on the site, some offering personal training physical therapy and the Felicity School, a secondary school program for 25 children with special needs.
In addition, national sports tournaments and other special events are expected to draw in over 600 people on weekends. Last year 34 tournaments were held, mostly smaller events with 15 considered large. “While a thousand people may be in attendance throughout the day, at any one time we do not expect to utilize over 200 parking spots,” according to NSSW.
Village staff prelimary analysis of parking showed that 157 parking spaces would be needed during peak hours of operation during the weekdays, with a potential need for 224 parking spaces on weekends.
Currently the site includes 150 parking stalls as well as a loading dock. By re-striping the parking lot and eliminating the loading dock, parking would be increased to accommodate a total of 168 cars, according to NSSW. To address potential parking concerns, valet parking on the north side of the building would allow a total of 190 – 200 cars on the site. Additional parking could add around 9 spots on the eastern part of the building, but would also require a variation.
The site is currently zoned I-1, Restricted Industrial District and would need to be rezoned to IB Institutional Building District; several special permits and variations would also need to be granted. The future land use map in the 2010 Comprehensive Plan designates the property as appropriate for General Industrial, Warehouse and Office uses.
“This is a community-based business whose purpose is important,” comments Mike Nekrtiz with NSSW. He noted that the site would allow the Felicity School, which currently operates in a 4,000 square foot building to expand to 12,000 square feet in the new space. He reiterated that there would be no bus traffic into the site and that the parking issues have been addressed.
Trustees generally voiced support for the business coming to Northbrook, but continued to express concerns about parking and truck traffic. All commented that they preferred the Huehl site over the previous location, but said they would defer to the Plan Commission with regard to whether there is sufficient parking and whether the valet parking is feasible.
“This is a reasonable use for this space,” commented Trustee Karagianis who said his top concerns were the need for a traffic study to see how nearby Solomon Schechter School would be affected and making sure the building sprinklers are up to code. Trustee Ciesla commented that the issue of loading and unloading kids should also be looked at to ensure safety.
“I would love to see this business come to Northbrook,” commented Trustee Collison, but has concerns about snow removal and staff parking.
The Plan Commission is expected to consider the proposal once additional parking and traffic studies have been conducted.