Developer plans mega-restaurant facility in Lake Z …

A banquet and mega-restaurant facility on West Main Street is the first in a number of redevelopment projects that has been proposed for downtown Lake Zurich.  The former Bank of America building, which is situated at 35 West Main Street, is to be converted into a dining facility that will incorporate three upscale restaurants, multiple bars, a rooftop restaurant and bar, a wine cellar and a coffee shop.  The renovation of the 34,000 square foot building is expected to cost upwards of $8 million, according to developer David Smith: “We gutted everything and we’re completely transforming the building. We’re even going to have a drive-up coffee service.  It will, I promise you, be a destination,” Smith claims.

The hospitality facility is the very first big move in the redevelopment of downtown Lake Zurich.  Village officials are hoping that more businesses will be attracted to the area by a tax increment financial district:  “We are always looking for opportunities,” says village manager Jason Slowinski.  Part of the TIF included a recent agreement by officials that they would provide $50,000 as well as permit waivers in order to help DiPiero’s Restaurant, which is located on East Main Street, to expand.  Village officials may also be able to offer funding for some other projects, such as Smith’s restaurants.  When the plans for the restaurant facility have been properly introduced, the developers and officials will be able to work out the requirements and methods by which the village may be able to supply financial help.

Smith says that this marks the first large investment in the TIF area and as a result is “a big deal”.  Smith also adds that his company has other big moves planned for Lake Zurich, including building a boutique hotel and spa in the European style near to the recent multicolored town houses.  Smith, who was responsible for the development of a massive real estate project in Barrington, insists that he became interested in Lake Zurich due to its large potential: “I started to look at Lake Zurich and I thought “Wow, it really needs help”. We’re interested in much more involvement than this project,” he claims.

Village officials are looking for a developer for the West Main Street property across from the promenade that they purchased for around $4 million.  This parcel, formerly known as JJ Twiggs Pizza, is a part of the six-point marketing and redevelopment plan that is intended to enhance the look of downtown, promote investment, strengthen the TIF district’s long-term financial outlook, “pay attention to the intangibles”, promote events and develop specific sites.  The former JJ Twiggs Pizza property is at the very top of the redevelopment list and developers have been asked by the village to submit letters of interest in order to develop it.  Slowinski says that one developer expressed an interest just last month.  The old Alpine Medical building located on South Old Rand Road is also on the list for redevelopment.