Restaurant Plan Unveiled in Wheeling

By Nadia Malik

A new restaurant near the Westin North Shore Hotel in Wheeling will likely be making its way through the plan commission next month.

Mike Firsel, restaurant project developer with Oak Brook-based Mid-America Development Partners LLC, gave the Wheeling village board updates Monday on progress in developing property adjacent to the Westin.

He said Cooper’s Hawk, a restaurant and winery, would take up one of the vacant retail spots.

The village has expressed some concern about other empty retail spots in the development, but Firsel said those are also his priority.

“No one is more concerned about this than we are,” he said.

On Dec. 10, the village will also be looking at an amendment to the development agreement to give Firsel’s group a 30-month extension from a January deadline for putting up three final retail buildings.

Firsel said he needs the extra time because the buildings would be constructed on existing parking.

“It’s a double-edged sword: If we build, not only do we take the existing parking spaces, but the users of those new buildings would have to have parking as well,” he said.

One potential solution could come from an agreement the village is working on with the Forest Preserve District of Cook County. Wheeling wants to build a lagoon on forest preserve property by the Westin development.

Firsel said this could potentially benefit him as well because some of the detention ponds on the Westin property could be relocated to the forest preserve land. This would free up more land for a parking garage.

However, Firsel said he also has two other options that could solve the issue, including building a parking garage in another location or creating off-site employee parking.

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