Chicago Bears present preliminary site plan for Arlington Heights race track site

Some trustees concerned new restaurants, bars could compete with downtown area

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Wednesday, October 12, 2022
Chicago Bears present plan for Arlington Heights race track site
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The Chicago Bears are inching closer to an eventual move to Arlington Heights. The team's owners met with the village to present their site plan.

ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. (WLS) -- The Chicago Bears are inching closer to an eventual move to Arlington Heights. The team's owners met with village officials Monday night to present their preliminary site plan.

There was a good lunch crowd for a Tuesday afternoon at Peggy Kinnane's in downtown Arlington Heights. It is one of the original spots when they developed the area more than two decades ago. Many regular customers are excited about the possibility of the Bears moving to town.

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"I believe it would have a good impact," Arlington Heights resident Rick Jacobsen said. "More people would be staying in the hotels and utilize the downtown as well."

The Bears presented their plans for the property at the former Arlington Park race track site as part of a pre-development agreement to city council members Monday night. The plans include residential and lots of retail, including bars and restaurants, which some trustees are concerned would compete with the downtown area.

"I don't think businesses in town could overcome this," Arlington Heights trustee Jim Tinaglia said. "It would be too difficult."

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The owners of Hey Nonny, a restaurant and music venue downtown, say the stadium could benefit both the new and current businesses.

"That's what we have to work on, for the planning to make sense, there's enough business to make it a win for everybody," Hey Nonny partner Chip Brooks said.

Peggy Kinnane's owners Tim and Stacey Grodek say they are realistic but hopeful.

"I don't think it's gonna be a gold mine for the restaurants down here, but there's a lot to share," Tim Grodek said.

The Bears are expected to close on the Arlington Park property by the end of this year or early next year. The village is expected to vote on the agreement early next month.