Citing a rise in suburban office vacancies because of the COVID-19 pandemic, a developer is seeking approval to convert a 3-story office building at the entrance to Elk Grove Village into a 60-room Baymont Inn & Suites hotel.
Chowdhury Group, a Harvey-based hotel management firm, wants to redevelop the 51-year-old building at 2300 E. Higgins Road into a lodging/hospitality use, with its proximity to the Jane Addams Tollway and O'Hare International Airport among the selling points.
The principals pointed to low demands for office spaces, higher vacancies and downward pressure on existing rental rates.
"(The pandemic) has significantly impacted office buildings severely; as many businesses are conducting their business from remote locations and many employees are working from home, the resulting demand for office buildings has been declining significantly," they wrote in documents submitted to the village.
Plans call for converting the offices into 60 standard and suite rooms, which would be priced at $75 in the winter months and be more in the summer. The 2.5-acre site would have 89 parking spaces -- a reduction from the 100 there now -- on a newly-paved and striped lot, officials said.
A 6-foot-tall vinyl screen fence would be installed along the north, west and a portion of the east property lines. A final landscaping plan is due to the village before occupancy.
The new hotel would employ between 24 and 30 workers.
Officials from Chowdhury Group added that the new hotel could lead to an increase in lodging and property tax revenues, thanks to the hotel and meeting room rentals, food and beverage sales from a quick pickup store, use of a spa, and parking charges.
The Elk Grove Village board this week gave unanimous, preliminary approval for a special use permit to operate the hotel, but formal approval is to come Feb. 23. It follows a plan commission meeting and public hearing held Jan. 25 to review the project.
"This is great to see that kind of repurposing of an existing building," Mayor Craig Johnson said. "That building was not very much used and now it's being utilized."