Harley Quickly On Horizon For Rosemont
By TODD WESSELL
Journal & Topics Editor
A temporary facility approximately 400 sq. ft. in size will be erected in Rosemont’s entertainment district by the end of March where motorcycle enthusiasts will be able to lease the vehicles to take on short or cross country tours.
The construction of the small building will mark the beginning of a major local presence by Harley-Davidson, which will culminate with the opening of a 20,000 sq. ft., two-story building within Rosemont’s Parkway Bank Park later this year.
Initial plans called for the village to construct a $1.5 million, 80-space underground parking garage below the Harley-Davidson building. However, according to Rosemont Mayor Brad Stephens, the garage will not be built because of its high expense and ability of the village and the motorcycle company to find suitable surface parking.
Windy City Motorcycle Co., which owns and operates 14 locations in the South suburbs and southern Wisconsin, will lease the land from the village. It’s located just north of the BIG 10 conference building within Parkway Park. The site will also be the location of Windy City’s national and international tour operations for the Chicago region.
Motorcycle enthusiasts will be able to fly into O’Hare Airport or drive to Rosemont to lease a Harley from Easy Rider tour company. From there, people can travel anywhere they want, including to a motorcycle round up like the one held in Sturgis, SD, that attracts tens of thousands of riders every July and August. It’s believed that between 8,000 and 10,000 visitors will travel to Rosemont annually to pick up their motorcycles.
The motorcycles that will be leased will be stored in the basement of the nearby Williams Street parking garage owned by the village, said Mayor Stephens. He added that Windy City is close to applying for a village sign variation that will require village board approval.
Stephens also said that plans call for a smaller replica of the well-known Harley-Davidson water tower above the motorcycle’s facility in Milwaukee to be part of the building,
“It will open later in the year, by the holidays” Stephens said.