Village Okays Sale Of Downtown Glenview Land To Restaurant Group

GLENVIEW, IL — Calling the revitalization of downtown Glenview a “passion project” for the Village Board, Glenview President Mike Jenny and his fellow trustees unanimously approved the sale of land at 1739 Glenview Road to the restaurant group Ballyhoo Hospitality.

“We’re thrilled to welcome Ballyhoo to Glenview, and even more excited to check off yet another item from the wishlist we collected from residents in 2021,” Jenny said at Tuesday night’s Glenview Village Board meeting, referring to a downtown strategic plan adopted in August 2021. “We heard loud and clear the desire for a new movie theater and additional downtown dining, and I’m proud we’ve been able to do both within 18 months.”

A packed house at the meeting appeared to support the project, with frequent applause as members of the Village Board discussed the sale. Trustee Mary Cooper said her office has received more than 200 emails regarding the development, with most in favor of it moving forward. After the resolution was approved, a majority of those in attendance applauded the board with a standing ovation.

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As part of the agreement to sell the 6,000-square-foot riverside parcel, according to officials, the Village will provide Ballyhoo a $1.75 million economic development grant to help fund construction of the property. The Village will also be loaning the Chicago-based restaurant group a $2.25 million loan to be paid back over 15 years at a 2 percent interest.

When the Village adopted its Downtown Strategic plan in 2021, which followed the gathering of resident feedback on future economic developments through Glenview Connect, it identified the property at 1739 Glenview Road as a “spark site.” According to Glenview Connect, “spark sites” are areas of potential reinvestment or redevelopment. They may include areas that could be redeveloped in the short-term and others that may be long-term opportunities.

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“We heard throughout Glenview Connect that people want restaurants. They want vibrancy in the downtown,” said Cooper, who described Ballyhoo as the No. 1 restaurateur currently on the North Shore.

Ballyhoo, established in 2018 according to its website, currently operates a number of upscale restaurants throughout Chicago and the North Shore, including Sophia Steak (locations in Wilmette and Lake Forest) and Pomeroy (Winnetka).

“Glenview and Ballyhoo Hospitality are a natural fit because we are both dedicated to the community and providing another place for residents of Glenview and surrounding neighborhoods to gather and dine,” said Ryan O’Donnell, founder and CEO of Ballyhoo Hospitality.

Redevelopment of the Glenview Road “spark site” began with the purchase of the vacant Scot Cleaners property on the 1700 block in February 2022. The Village followed that by acquiring a small lot and secured two licenses to the south of the site to facilitate construction of a configured parking lot that will serve the new restaurant and other area businesses, according to officials.

Another project to come from the plan was the $3.8 million development agreement with Oliver McMillian to bring Landmark Theatres to The Glen Town Center. The 10-screen theater, which is housed at the former site of ArcLight Cinema, opened last year.

“It’s truly awe-inspiring to see what can happen with such passion, with so many people coming together with furtherance of what appears to be a common aim,” Jenny said.

RELATED: Landmark Theatres Opening Renovated Theater At The Glen

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