Over the weekend, the Illinois legislature approved a gambling expansion package that could provide a development solution to the Tinley Park Mental Health Center property by bringing a racino (a combination racetrack and casino) to Tinley Park. We’re still in the process of digesting the 700-page bill, and many aspects of the process the State will implement in determining a location have not been defined yet, but I’d like to update you on what we know so far.
Tinley Park has a prime opportunity to seize this moment and create a once-in-a-lifetime development opportunity for the Tinley Park Mental Health Center property that will positively change the Village in many ways and be a boon to the south suburbs. If constructed, the Tinley Park racino would be the first of its kind in Illinois.
The site, which is located in the same entertainment district as the Tinley Park Convention Center and Hollywood Casino Amphitheater, could potentially include a hotel, a high-end restaurant, banquet space, a golf entertainment facility, youth athletic facilities and a sports dome. Add our eclectic mix of hotels into the equation, and a racino complex fits perfectly with the entertainment appeal of the area.
Another bonus is that the site would help convert a property that has been blighted for nearly two decades into a true entertainment destination for the region. As a state-owned property, it’s currently not on the tax rolls, so any taxes generated would be significant for our Village. It would be conveniently located next to I-80, which would minimize the traffic impact on our residential communities while providing easy access for visitors. It would also create many permanent jobs, including construction jobs.
Several things need to occur before any development moves forward, however. The Plan Commission and Village Board need to review and approve the plan, and the property would have to be purchased from the state. Remediation and demolition would be necessary to get it shovel-ready. Also, both the Illinois Racing Board and Illinois Gaming Board would have to approve the racino license.
We haven’t received a formal proposal yet, and it’s premature to predict the timeline for when we may know more. However, we want to assure everyone that we are committed to being transparent throughout the entire process and there will be ample time for the public to provide feedback.
We’ll keep you updated on this exciting project as it unfolds.