Government

Downers Grove approves Ogden Avenue hotel and restaurant

The Downers Grove village council unanimously voted this week to allow a new hotel and restaurant to be built at the southeast corner of Ogden and Walnut Avenues.

Holladay Properties, headquartered in South Bend, Indiana, got approval to build a Woodspring Suites extended-stay hotel and a to-be-determined restaurant at 2751-2761 Ogden Ave. The location is east of I-355 and south of the headquarters of the Illinois State Toll Highway Authority.

The council also approved rezoning the property to allow for a stormwater detention lot on its southeast corner. In addition, the restaurant could have a drive-through lane.

A restaurant was under contract for the site, but it withdrew due to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to Duffey Phelps, vice president of hospitality for Holladay Properties.

“Our goal would be to have something more of a sit-down restaurant,” Phelps said at a council meeting this month. “We are keeping it flexible because some fast-casual places have now added drive-thrus. We would prefer something that offers breakfast, lunch and dinner. That’s just a better amenity.”

Phelps also shared that Holladay Properties has been in talks with the Downers Grove Park District. The park district is in the planning stages to build a Walnut Park athletic center to the south of the hotel and restaurant.

“The park district anticipates the proposed amenities at Walnut Park to primarily serve the residents of Downers Grove,” said Dawn Hartman, director of marketing and community engagement for the Downers Grove Park District. “However, the site presents the opportunity to host sports tournaments, expos and specials events that would support local tourism and complement the hotel and restaurant.”

Holladay Properties received some praise from village commissioners for its previous investment in Downers Grove -- namely as the developer and the management company of the Burlington Station luxury apartments at 5100 Forest Ave. that opened in 2018 near the Metra station. The company also was complimented for working with both the village and the park district.

“This could turn out to be another fine example of us cooperating with another taxing body -- in this case, the park district,” village Commissioner Rich Kulovany said this month. “It’s two units cooperating for the betterment of Downers Grove.”

Holladay Properties plans to begin construction in March 2022 and open the hotel by the end of that year.