Fox Lake hopes to bring hotel to Lake Mineola site – Chicago Tribune
Fox Lake’s recent efforts to revitalize its economy and embrace its roots as a resort community have led to another major piece of the puzzle being announced.
Village officials and a local developer have finalized preliminary details to bring a boutique hotel and related amenities to the iconic Lake Mineola site.
Lake County-based Samsonian Ventures is expected to appear before the village planning and zoning commission with documentation for the project within the next two months. A public hearing will also be scheduled prior to the commission meeting.
“We met this week for pre-application discussions with all stakeholders on the documents that will need to be submitted for the public hearing,” said Donavan Day, director of economic development for the village. “It involved what our engineers will need for the dish map, as well as the code requirements, before we put it all on paper for submission.”
A presentation at the March 8 village board meeting resulted in the approval of an incentive resolution. The action allows the developer to start tracking their expenses for possible reimbursement. It also signaled the council’s interest in participating in the project, which is estimated to cost $60 million. Compensatory financing measures such as the creation of a tax increase financing district could also come into play.
The 15.5 acre site at 81 Cora Ave., contains 380 feet of frontage on Fox Lake. The property also contains the iconic Mineola Hotel, Illinois’ last free-standing wood-frame building on the National Register of Historic Places.
It was closed in 2012 due to structural issues, closing a working bar and restaurant. Mineola Marine continued to operate at the north end of the site.
“We are under purchase agreement with the Jakstas family for the property, with an expected closing date of mid-August,” said Joel Mackintosh, one of the developers. “We worked with them to incorporate some of the aesthetic features of the original hotel into the look of the new hotel, as well as artifacts and what the interior will look like.
“For the past year, our structural engineer has followed our plan to renovate it, which turned out to be unfeasible,” he continued. “So we had to pivot and do what we could to keep the old and pay homage to the Mineola. The original plan was a high-level concept, now developed by us, the village staff and the architects.”
A multi-story boutique hotel is in the works, along with rental chalets and treehouses around the site for glamorous camping or “glamping”. The project is part of a planned urban development that allows for the issuance of conditional special use permits, where village code requirements and other agencies are met as development progresses. a given project.
“It’s an exciting time,” said village administrator Deb Waszak. “The Lakefront Park and Mineola developments are two distinct projects that complement each other and are an important part of our strategic plan.
“Recognizing our unique position on the Chain O’ Lakes is a key driver of our progress,” she said. “Tourism is important to our economy and translates into opportunities for our residents and our community.”
Mackintosh added, “We want to capture some of that audience that goes to Wisconsin and keep them here in Fox Lake and in Illinois. Our group is based in Lake County and we want to follow developments in communities that other entities may have passed through.
He said the timeline is to close the property in August, begin work on the site the following month, enter an official construction phase in the first part of 2023 and hold a “grand opening.” with the first guests staying in May 2024.
The village mayor, Donny Schmit, said: “The Samsonian group did not ask what the village could offer them to invest in the town. They asked what the village considers a good use of the property.
“Fox Lake will benefit greatly from this partnership,” he said. “While we are saddened that the Mineola building could not be saved, we are thrilled at the beginning of new traditions and experiences for future generations.”