Event Space, Business Incubator Could Be Headed To Broadview

Sunday, July 7, 2019 || By Michael Romain || @maywoodnews

Featured image: An architectural rendering of the Red Room Meeting Place, which could be headed to Broadview. | Vincent Williams and Assoc.

Broadview’s Board of Trustees recently paved the way for a new event center and business incubator to develop in the village. During a July 1 regular meeting, the board voted 6-0 to enter into a redevelopment agreement with the Red Door Meeting Place, Inc.

The developers are looking to turn what used to be Betty Jo’s Christian Bookstore, located at 1519-21 W. Roosevelt Rd., into an “urban chic meeting hall venue,” according to a presentation given to the board on July 1 by Monica Gordon and Vincent R. Williams, of Vincent Williams and Associates.

Williams said that the total redevelopment project will cost around $981,000. He said that his company has already invested “about $140,000 in soft costs, including architectural renderings.”

Gordon said that the Red Door will feature business office space and flexible floor space for accommodating weddings, bridal showers, anniversaries, graduations, corporate meetings and other events. The space, she said, will be unlike anything in Proviso Township. Williams added that the services will be affordable to boot.

“We don’t want you to be treated like you’re in downtown Chicago and have to pay $50 to park or go to Oak Brook and it costs you more than a house to have a big event,” he said. “We want to do something that is affordable for ordinary people.”

The old Betty Jo’s Bookstore retail space at 1519-21 W. Roosevelt Rd., which developers are seeking to turn into an event facility and business incubator. | Google Earth

During the July 1 meeting, Broadview’s board welcomed the concept, but some members expressed concern about the possibility of traffic congestion in the area. The Red Door, according to Gordon, would have a capacity for 320-plus cocktail-style seats and 220-plus guests for banquet-style seating.

“I think there’s a real issue related to parking,” said Trustee Verina Horne.

Trustee Sherman Jones, the village’s former mayor, said that while he was in favor of the development, the traffic concern should need to nonetheless be worked out before the village entered into an agreement with the developers.

The agreement would apparently involve the village paying out a certain amount of Tax Increment Financing dollars, but the specific amount of money involved was not disclosed during the meeting. Broadview officials could not be contacted on Sunday night for comment and neither the draft of the agreement, nor the meeting’s agenda, could be found on the village’s website.

Village administrators, however, reassured Jones and other trustees that the developers are required to comply with the village’s parking requirements before they could receive any TIF funds. So, the village would not be at risk of losing out on money if the developers did not figure out adequate parking arrangements.

David Upshaw, the village’s building commissioner, said that the developers are currently negotiating with the owners of nearby lots “to the east and west” of the development, in order to free up more parking spaces.

Upshaw added that there is additional public parking available in the area, as well. VFP

Contact: thevillagefreepress@gmail.com | Facebook: @maywoodnews

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