July Letter 2016
Further enhancements to our community and the sports, entertainment, convention and shopping venues that for the last 60 years have shaped Rosemont into the world-class community that it is, continue unabated as several new, high-profile projects are showing signs of life and vitality.
Earlier this year we celebrated two momentous occasions: the complete renovation of Rosemont’s iconic gateway waterfall at River and Higgins roads, and the unveiling of the bronze statue of the man many consider the “Father of Rosemont”, Donald E. Stephens. The ceremonial turning on the waterfall, on Mother’s Day, completed a two-year effort to replace the feature that had been at that location for the previous 20 years. The new fountain is bigger and better and able to accommodate a wider and more voluminous flow of water. There’s new interior plumbing designed to last for years and an abundance of landscaping throughout the highly-visible corner property.
On Father’s Day, Sunday, June 19, the hard work of a group of local business leaders and residents came to fruition with the ceremonial unveiling of the statue of Donald E. Stephens. He was Rosemont’s first mayor, from 1956 to 2007, who, along with the efforts of many, positioned Rosemont as one of the premier communities in the world. During those years, the Allstate Arena, Donald E. Stephens Convention Center, Rosemont Theater and more than a dozen hotels sprung to life. His work paved the way for newer developments that are enjoyed by millions each year like MB Financial Park at Rosemont, The Dome and Ballpark at Rosemont, and Fashion Outlets Chicago, a sparkling new 120-store indoor mall at Balmoral Avenue and the Tri-State Tollway.
Looking ahead, the future is as rosy as ever as we prepare for the opening of The Pearl Development on the west side of I-294 south of Balmoral. Storm water detention and utility work relocation will kick-off within days on a project that will bring a new 163-room boutique hotel and at least two new restaurants. Groundbreaking is scheduled for this coming spring with completion of the project in the spring of 2018 just as the new baseball season is beginning. That project will also coincide with one of the area’s most exciting projects since the opening of the outlet mall in 2013. A new state-of-the-art minor league baseball team will begin play in 2018 on Village-owned land north of Balmoral and west of I-294. Rosemont will own the ball park and plans call for a new team of the American Association of Independent baseball league to play its home games there. Our Village will be well-represented at this league’s meeting later this year where a decision will be made by team owners on the application to bring minor league baseball to Rosemont. Groundbreaking on the new, 7,000-seat stadium could begin as early as this fall.
Let it never be said that the people of Rosemont are not interested in the arts. Over the years, we’ve added several new colorful murals to our village depicting local scenes. All of the art was created by local artists and students. There’s more to come especially in our 8,500-car William Street parking garage where we plan to bring more color and excitement to many of its interior walls enhancing the entire experience of people visiting our entertainment district and convention center.
Another project we’re very excited about will bring the village and the owners of the fashion outlet mall together to position many new and refreshing pieces of art throughout the 520,000 sq. ft. shopping venue. Among the art will be sculptures and paintings. Our mission is to get young people involved in the process and to bring the kind of artwork to the mall that will be inspiring and pleasing to the eye and heart. The proposed four-year agreement calls for the spending of $1 million to bring in the new art. Formal approval is expected soon.