Changes For Higgins Office Site
By TODD WESSELL
Journal & Topics Editor
A significant change is unfolding along the 9000 block of West Higgins Road in Rosemont where a banking company has purchased three buildings, one of which may be demolished. Tenants of that building include Romano’s and two other restaurants and a Dunkin’ Donuts.
Cook County tax records show that Wintrust Corp. now owns the property having purchased the large office building at 9801 W. Higgins on Aug. 24, 2016 and a second office building at 9701 W. Higgins on Dec. 21, 2017. Located between these structures is the single-story building where Romano’s, Laredo’s and Maharaja restaurants operate along with the Dunkin’ Donuts.
“They told me I have a month to get out,” said Chuck Romano, owner of the restaurant that for years operated on Oakton Street in Des Plaines.
“I want to remain in business. I want to remain in Rosemont, where I now live.” Romano’s moved to its current Rosemont location seven years ago. Romano said he is in the process of trying to find a new location.
Wintrust President and CEO Ed Wehmer said yesterday that several ideas are being considered for the single-story building, but that no final decisions have been made. He said renovation work is ongoing at the 9701 Higgins building. Wehmer also said his company is working with the village of Rosemont and the Illinois Dept. of Transportation (IDOT) on establishing a crosswalk and stoplight that would link all Wintrust property on both sides of Higgins. He anticipates that eventually, the bank will employ between 500 and 600 people in the buildings at 9801 and 9701 Higgins and that the area will have a campus-like setting.
Rosemont Mayor Brad Stephens said he has heard that among the possibilities for the property where Romano’s is located is the construction of a new bank drive-in facility, or a place where Dunkin’ Donuts can relocate. Another possibility is paving the space for additional parking.
“Absolutely, I welcome it,” said Stephens yesterday (Tuesday). “They’re renovating and occupying the buildings and bringing in new life.”
Wintrust also owns and occupies a large office building on Higgins across from the property it recently bought.