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Demolition of Janes Plaza, future site of rec center, moves forward

Published: Thursday, Aug. 7, 2014 4:04 p.m. CDT
Caption
(Rendering provided)
A rendering of the Woodridge Park District's proposed Athletic Recreation Center.

WOODRIDGE – Demolition of the Janes Plaza shopping center will commence in August, clearing the way for construction of the Woodridge Park District's much-anticipated Athletic Recreation Center.

On Thursday, the Woodridge Village Board approved a $46,418 contract with Break Thru Enterprises of Lombard to demolish the shopping center on the northeast corner of 83rd Street and Janes Avenue sometime this month. The project was budgeted in the village's TIF fund, according to a news release from the village.

Both the park district and village are jointly funding the rec center, which is being referred to as the ARC. Per an intergovernmental development agreement with the Woodridge Park District, the village has committed $2 million toward the ARC through Janes Avenue Tax Increment Financing District funds.

Funding for the remaining cost of the estimated $18.7 million rec center will come via a split sale of debt certificates by the park district – a first round sale of $9.86 million was conducted in May.

The amount of the second debt certificate sale will be based on final project costs and the outcome of grant applications, including a potential $2.5 million grant through the Illinois Park and Recreational Facility Construction grant program, according to Mike Adams, executive director of the Woodridge Park District.

The park district is awaiting word from the governor whether it will receive the grant.

"The governor has been slowly releasing some of the grants. We're hopeful we'll know within the next month or so," Adams said. "Whether we get it or not, that's to be determined."

Adams added that the ARC project will not be funded through any tax hikes to district property owners but rather through debt services and the exisiting general fund.

A 2009 needs study and a subsequent 2010 community survey revealed a community need for an indoor rec center, according to the park district.

While the final building plans have yet to be approved, indoor uses proposed for the ARC have included a walking/jogging track, fitness room, gymnasium with multiple sports courts and classrooms.

In December, the village and park district reached a $2.25 million settlement agreement with the owners of Janes Plaza to acquire the shopping center.

The six businesses in the shopping center have since closed. Just one relocated – Allstate moved to 6440 Main St., Suite 140 in Woodridge – while the other five closed permanently.

In addition to the pending building demolition, the park district is awaiting zoning approvals from the village. A public hearing will be scheduled for early fall, according to the village.

Contruction on the ARC facility is scheduled to begin in April, with a targeted facility opening date of September-October 2016.

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Former Janes Plaza businesses

Gia's Pizzeria (did not relocate)

Allstate (relocated to 6440 Main St., Suite 140 in Woodridge)

Camelot Hair Salon (stylists relocated to Bolingbrook salon)

7-Eleven (did not relocate)

Modern Day Cleaners (did not relocate)

H&R Block (did not relocate)

Source: Village of Woodridge

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