Adreani blames Bears for stalled Arlington Heights project

Three-building project received approval in 2019

Norwood Builders’ Bruce Adreani and a rendering of Arlington 425
Norwood Builders’ Bruce Adreani and a rendering of Arlington 425 (Bruce Adreani, Getty)

Bruce Adreani might have something in common with Green Bay Packers fans: They’re both not very fond of the Chicago Bears right now.

Developer Bruce Adreani, president of Norwood Builders, added the Bears’ new stadium plans to the list of reasons his downtown Arlington Heights development plans have stalled after getting village approval in 2019, the Daily Herald reported.

Renderings for the project, called Arlington 425, show a 10-story, 234-unit apartment building with streetside retail on Campbell Street; another five-story, 85-unit building of apartments or condominiums along Chestnut Avenue; and a four- or five-story parking garage on Highland Avenue. It would be one of the largest developments the northwest suburb has seen in decades, but a new Bears stadium would possibly overshadow Arlington 425.

“We have the uncertainty of the Bears and how it will affect downtown, (and) whether or not we will become the red-haired stepchild to the Bears site and what’s going to happen there,” Adreani said Monday night, according to the outlet. “Nobody knows what’s going to happen there.”

Adreani was already struggling to finance the project and claimed the Bears plans add a new layer of uncertainty. He and some village officials are concerned that the Bears relocating their gameday venue to a new stadium district the team wants to build on the shuttered Arlington International Racecourse property would disrupt the village’s quaint and charming downtown.

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If the team ultimately chooses Arlington Heights, it would redevelop the 326-acre site that it bought for $197 million earlier this year.

Other officials are hopeful that the Bears and Arlington 425 would benefit each other, or at the very least, the stadium would be far away enough from downtown to avoid a potential clash. 

“I do want to find a way that they complement each other,” Trustee John Scaletta told the outlet. “But at the same time, if they build a Bears stadium over there and there’s a whole atmosphere over there, I’m still going downtown. I’m going for the atmosphere of charming and quaint and having all these great restaurants.”

The village approved a 12 month extension for Adreani to break ground on Arlington 425, even as some officials expressed frustration that no progress had been made. If the developer doesn’t begin sitework within the next year, Norwood will have to submit a new application for the project and go through a new series of hearings before the plan commission and village board.

— Quinn Donoghue

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