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Planning board to consider plans for Sabre Room site

  • Written by Joe Boyle

The Hickory Hills Planning Commission and Zoning Board of Appeals will hold a public hearing on Monday night to discuss a special use zoning for development plans at the site of the now closed Sabre Room.

The meeting will begin at 7:30 p.m. in Hickory Hills City Hall, 8652 W. 95th St.

The zoning change proposal would allow the property, at 8900 W. 95th St., to become a Planned Unit Development. The approval of the project would essentially allow for construction along the lines of the developer’s preliminary plans. The early stages of the project would include senior housing and retail space along 95th Street. Detention areas would be designed along 95th Street and behind the retail locations.

“Modifications in that plan may be made later on, but the changes must be relatively minor and not radically depart from the preliminary plan,” said Ald. Tom McAvoy (3rd Ward).

If those changes change dramatically from the submitted idea, the developer would risk disapproval of building permits. The city could halt the development entirely.

The zoning commission will either recommend the developer’s preliminary plan or report its recommendation for the Hickory Hills City Council. The city council may reject or adopt the recommendation of the zoning commission.

“The city council has the final decision-making authority in this matter – period,” said McAvoy. Brian Fonte is the other 3rd Ward alderman.

Aldermen and Mayor Mike Howley have been in discussion through many emails with the developers about their plans.

“We think it is fair to say that we were not impressed or very satisfied with the developer’s initial plans for the residential area,” said McAvoy. The approximate 10-acre part of the property is just west of the Sabre Room main building.

“To their credit, the developer came back with major revisions regarding that part of the project,” said McAvoy. “Those changes addressed many of our concerns.”

The Sabre Woods project would take in 30 acres, according to the developers. They said the property is ideal for development on the rolling land contours and the elevated views. The project would include wetlands and woodlands that interconnect with the new building areas.

The developers said that details have been discussed and will include storm water management. According to the engineers, they have taken into account several site challenges that include flooding and drainage will be improved. The developers said they will provide for circulation of vehicles, commercial, pedestrian and bicycle traffic on nearby local streets. The Sabre Woods Senior Village is being designed for residents ages 55 and older.

A first meeting was held this past Wednesday night at the St. Patricia Parish Center in Hickory Hills.

During Monday’s meeting will be a briefing by the development team on the land uses, buildings, facilities, layout and infrastructure improvements proposed for the property. The team will be composed of principals and senior staff of the property, Koziarz Group II; the developer (Chicagoland Realty Executives) and the project manager (ReTown).

During the first meeting with developers, McAvoy insisted that the developers conduct presentations and answer questions from residents before any city council consideration. Fonte and Howley were in agreement with that suggestion, said McAvoy.

The Sabre Room was 67 years old when the doors closed for the final time at the end of May. In 1949, Arnold and Marie Muzzarelli founded the family-owned business on the site of the luxury Dynell Springs Spa.

In recent years, it had been known for holding wedding receptions, New Year’s Eve parties, debutante galas and other celebrations in its various rooms. In its heyday, with space for up to 2,500 people, it was a popular concert venue for top stars such as Frank Sinatra in 1976 and Dean Martin in 1977. Liberace, Bob Hope, Dorothy Lamour and Rudy Vallee all appeared there over the years as well.

By Joe Boyle

The Hickory Hills Planning Commission and Zoning Board of Appeals will hold a public hearing on Monday night to discuss a special use zoning for development plans at the site of the now closed Sabre Room.

The meeting will begin at 7:30 p.m. at the Hickory Hills City Hall, 8652 W. 95th St.

The zoning change proposal would allow the property, at 8900 W. 95th St., to become a Planned Unit Development. The approval of the project would essentially allow for construction along the lines of the developer’s preliminary plans. The early stages of the project would include senior housing and retail space along 95th Street. Detention areas would be designed along 95th Street and behind the retail locations.

“Modifications in that plan may be made later on, but the changes must be relatively minor and not radically depart from the preliminary plan,” said Ald. Tom McAvoy (3rd Ward).

If those changes change dramatically from the submitted idea, the developer would risk disapproval of building permits. The city could halt the development entirely.

The zoning commission will either recommend the developer’s preliminary plan or report its recommendation for the Hickory Hills City Council. The city council may reject or adopt the recommendation of the zoning commission.

“The city council has the final decision-making authority in this matter – period,” said McAvoy. Brian Fonte is the other 3rd Ward alderman.

Aldermen and Mayor Mike Howley have been in discussion through many emails with the developers about their plans.

“We think it is fair to say that we were not impressed or very satisfied with the developer’s initial plans for the residential area,” said McAvoy. The approximate 10-acre part of the property is just west of the Sabre Room main building.

“To their credit, the developer came back with major revisions regarding that part of the project,” said McAvoy. “Those changes addressed many of our concerns.”

The Sabre Woods project would take in 30 acres, according to the developers. They said the property is ideal for development on the rolling land contours and the elevated views. The project would include wetlands and woodlands that interconnect with the new building areas.

The developers said that details have been discussed and will include storm water management. According to the engineers, they have taken into account several site challenges that include flooding and drainage will be improved. The developers said they will provide for circulation of vehicles, commercial, pedestrian and bicycle traffic on nearby local streets. The Sabre Woods Senior Village is being designed for residents ages 55 and older.

A first meeting was held this past Wednesday night at the St. Patricia Parish Center in Hickory Hills.

During Monday’s meeting will be a briefing by the development team on the land uses, buildings, facilities, layout and infrastructure improvements proposed for the property. The team will be composed of principals and senior staff of the property, Koziarz Group II; the developer (Chicagoland Realty Executives) and the project manager (ReTown).

During the first meeting with developers, McAvoy insisted that the developers conduct presentations and answer questions from residents before any city council consideration. Fonte and Howley were in agreement with that suggestion, said McAvoy.

The Sabre Room was 67 years old when the doors closed for the final time at the end of May. In 1949, Arnold and Marie Muzzarelli founded the family-owned business on the site of the luxury Dynell Springs Spa.

In recent years, it had been known for holding wedding receptions, New Year’s Eve parties, debutante galas and other celebrations in its various rooms. In its heyday, with space for up to 2,500 people, it was a popular concert venue for top stars such as Frank Sinatra in 1976 and Dean Martin in 1977. Liberace, Bob Hope, Dorothy Lamour and Rudy Vallee all appeared there over the years as well.