Minutes of the Regular Meeting of the Gurnee Economic Development Committee - February 21, 2013

Village of Gurnee
Economic Development Committee Minutes
February 21, 2013


The meeting was held in Conference Room A, Gurnee Village Hall, 325 N. O’Plaine Road and called to order at 6:00 P.M.

Members Present:            Trustee Stephen Park, Bill Finn, Tom Henderson, Brad Jenks, Roneida Martin, Karen Thorstenson

Members Absent:             Randy Ebertowski, Rob Elbrecht, Dick Welton

Other Officials Present:    David Ziegler, Community Development Director; Ryan Mentkowski, Associate Planner

1. Approval of the January 10, 2013 Meeting Minutes

Ms. Thorstenson made a motion, seconded by Mr. Henderson, to approve the January 10, 2013 meeting minutes, as corrected on page 5 per Development Director Ziegler’s recommendation.

All voted ‘aye’. Motion carried.

2. Unfinished Business: Discussion and recommendation on the content and organization of the Village of Gurnee website as it relates to Economic Development.

Mr. Mentkowski provided a brief introduction on this item which was a continuation of the discussion from the January 10, 2013 Committee meeting.  He noted that at the January meeting the Committee directed the members to review the important aspects of a website discussed at the meeting and also illustrated on slides 2 and 3 of staff’s presentation.  He noted in the report that staff was seeking a motion approving the preferred priorities, suggested content and organization for our website, including whether this item could be done by a 3rd party consultant due to staffing constraints.

Mr. Mentkowski also read into the record an email he received from Kristin Christenson from Tri-State Realty regarding suggested content for the Village of Gurnee website.  In summary, they are noted as: Highlight Economic Development on the HOME web page; Determine who the Village of Gurnee is trying to attract to the website: is it prospective businesses or community members of Gurnee; Suggested that the Village highlight economic development efforts and the critical mass of businesses and their industrial currently thriving in the Village of Gurnee; Create a link for the LocationOne web portal and post a link on the HOME page for an easy click as there is too much time spent looking for it through clicks; and make sure the text throughout the whole site is consistent (same style, size, font) to give it a more professional look.

The discussion from the EDC members included:

  • Adding information like “Elk Grove Sites” from the Village of Elk Grove;
  • Examine different companies, for example ones like “A5” who did the LTA website update;
  • Add a news page link which would move a lot of the current news to another separate dedicated page, instead of taking up so much room on the front page;
  • Like the idea of having pictures on the front page which showed snap shots of the Village of Gurnee;
  • Discuss with Information Systems (IS) regarding our website traffic via Google Analytics.  This would help us know where people are going once they get on the website;
  • Discuss with IS what is on their project plans for the coming months to determine if we can work with them to update it to meet our needs too.  This would be something that would be done to the existing site and would not be something requiring capital or a lot of time.  This would be a tweak to the site versus and complete overhaul.
  • An Economic Development link on the home page is important.

Chairman Park suggested that staff take this item back to the office.  Staff should bring the item back at a later meeting in order to discuss their recommendation as to what primary economic development content we should have on the website and what are the issues on the website that we see.

 No formal action taken, but it was verbally agreed that the item would be brought back at a later date. 

3. Identification and Discussion regarding the areas of vacant land, land that may be underutilized or land that could benefit from future redevelopment in the Village of Gurnee.

The Committee discussed the following items related to the item, which is further discussed in the February 21, 2013 staff report and illustrated on maps provided to the committee.  A majority of the discussion occurred through a large scale map that was in the meeting room, created by staff and titled “Vacant Land & Comprehensive Master Plan Redevelopment Potential”:

  • The committee should be looking for areas of land in and around the Village of Gurnee which may be different than the properties illustrated on the staff created map.
  • The focus of the Committee should be to look for properties that are able to support quality land uses that generate property tax and/or sales tax. 
  • The uses to consider could be an office building, which brings in short term construction jobs and longer term office jobs, as well as additional property tax revenue for the other taxing districts.
  • The uses to consider could be a multi-family development which could be a good senior home, apartment or something similar that the free market needs.

The properties discussed in concept included:Staff introduced the Village of Lombard property sheets which were downloaded from their economic development plan and were introduced to the Committee as possible sheets that could be used with any Committee targeted properties. The sheets could define the details of the property (existing use, zoning, acreage, utilities available, etc), the constraints of the property (natural resources, access, improvement costs, etc), as well as a cost-benefit type of analysis to compare and determine what type of use would be the optimal use for the property.  

  • Property at NE Corner of Rte 120 and Rte 21 (about 30 acres) known as the Duke Property which was originally approved as an office park.
  • Property at the NW corner of Rte 120 and O’Plaine Road (about 72 acres) which was originally approved for a Jewel Osco grocery store, but has since been sold.
  • Property at the NE Corner of Hunt Club Road and Gages Lake Road (Bobby’s Golf Course) (about 27 acres).
  • Property located within the Gurnee Mills circle and previously housed the Saturn Dealership and is owned by Rohrman.
  • The Lodesky property in the middle of the Village located between Washington Street and Gages Lake Road, as well as west of the Tollway.  It was noted that the property may have covenants recorded on the property which will permanently keep the land as open space; however, this was based on hearsay and would be verified by the Community Development Director.
  • The property on the west side of Hunt Club Road and north of the existing Sunrise Senior Living Facility.
  • The entire Gurnee Mills Mall property area which in the future could be reinvested and redeveloped to make more intense to be able to add additional space, which could be started with the addition of parking decks.  This idea was based on other developments in the Chicago area that have redeveloped over the years when located on high traffic intersections similar to Gurnee Mills Mall location.
  • The property located generally south and west of the Grand Tri State Business Park/ Center Pointe which currently contains very deep lots which it was discussed whether they would be capable of supporting industrial type buildings, even though the area is residential and there is no sanitary sewer running along Cemetery Road.
  • The property at the NE corner of Washington Street and Hunt Club Road.  The small size of the property and the infrastructure improvements required were discussed as constraints to redevelopment.  
  • The properties on Grand Avenue which are completely surrounded by the Village but located within unincorporated Lake County.
  • The properties located on the west side of the Village is located south and west of Rollins Road and Grand Avenue and illustrated on the map as a “comp plan potential redevelopment”.
  • The property located at the SW corner of the HWY 41 and Delany Road which is vacant and contains approximately 27 acres.

Chariman Park suggested that the Committee flag the properties they have questions on for discussion at the next meeting and flag what parcels the Committee believes should be priority parcels (A priority, B priority).  This way staff can put together informational sheets to determine what the land use could be for a parcel (among other parcel statistics), which is a precursor to the Land Use plan, as well as possible future placement of the parcel sheets on the website for interested developers. (The property sheets referenced are similar to the staff referenced Lombard IL property sheets.) 

4. New Business:  Recommended Economic Development Policies

Based upon limited time available, this item was table until a future meeting.

No formal action taken.

5. Agenda Items for Next Meeting Date: March 21, 2013

No meeting items discussed formally.

6. Chairman Comments

Bill Finn suggested that the proposed budget document be presented to the Committee at a future meeting.

Mr. David Ziegler stated that he would present a summary of the 2013-14 budget documents to the Committee at the April 2013 meeting.

7. Adjournment

Chairman Park asked for motion to adjourn.

Mr. Jenks made a motion, seconded by Ms. Thorstenson, to adjourn.

All voted ‘aye’. Motion carried.

The Meeting was adjourned at 7:36 P.M.

Respectfully Submitted:

Ryan Mentkowski
Economic Development Committee Secretary

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