Updated: Hubble Development Hearing to Continue Feb. 27

Patch will provide information in real-time from the public hearing for the redevelopment of the old Hubble School site.

Updated 11:07 a.m.:

Wheaton City Council members will meet Feb. 27 to continue the public hearing for a Planned Unit Development (PUD) for the old Hubble school property.

Council on Monday heard a presentation from Bradford Equities, LLC, the developer planning to bring a Mariano's Fresh Market to the site after it buys the property from Community Unit School District 200.

During the presentation Bradford President Steve Pagnotta addressed a list of 17 conditions city staff had included in its recommendation to Council to approve the PUD. The conditions included:

1. Revised elevations to comply with masonry requirement and verticle elements to the plan to break up the east facade of the building:

Pagnotta said the building is all masonry, with the exception of the rotunda. Ranieri said the rotunda portion is a typical storefront of mullions, glass and other materials, which is a small accent to provide some identity to the building.

2. Testimony pertaining to the screening of the rooftop mechanical equipment for the Mariano's building:

Ranieri said equipment is spread throughout the roof. He said Roundy's uses "zones" of small pieces of roofing equipment throughout the building.

3. Move main entrance to the store:

There are two entrances to the store. The main entrance, where shoppers will enter the store, is located 150 feet off of Roosevelt Road. Farrell said most stores have entrances that yield to a "one way in, one way out" layout for customers. Customers would leave from the north entrance, which is even further off of Roosevelt Road. "We were very comfortable with (the location of entrance)," he said.

Ranieri added a 12-foot sidewalk gives customers additional room to leave the store and look for incoming traffic from Roosevelt Road.

4. Increased setback off of Roosevelt Road:

A city ordinance requires a setback of 25 feet, Pagnotta said. However with a PUD, he said Bradford's plans include a setback of about 22 feet from Roosevelt Road and is seeking some relief from the city.

Brown said plans for the building "could accommodate a slight shift to the north." He said moving the building could affect the opening to the loading area north of the building. "We can probably move it two to three feet to the north before we really start to open up the throat of the dock area," Brown said.

5. Testimony that parking spaces provided for Mariano's are adequate for heavy traffic:

Bradford's plans for parking on the site exceed the requirements.

6. Revised landscaping plan, to incorporate more plantings on the hill west of the Mariano's parking lot:

Bradford will comply, Pagnotta said.

7. Revised landscaping plan to incorporate taller shrubs along the bottom of the tallest part of the retaining wall of the Mariano's parking lot (proposed to be at least 10 feet tall):

Bradford will comply.

8. Restrictions would be placed on the type of development that could occur at Central Park: a maximum floor area of 10,000 square feet, a maximum height of 35 feet, a maximum lot coverage of 33 1/3 percent, a minimum of 30 percent of the lot shal be landscaped, scaling of the building to replicate residential structure:

Pagnotta said Bradford agrees to the request, but asked to increase the maximum floor area to 11,000 square feet and to adjust the maximum lot coverage to 25 percent.

9. Landscaping by the Wheaton Park District should be done in concert with the Downtown Strategic Planning Process:

Park Commissioner Phil Luetkehans said the park district would have no problem consulting with someone from the city to adhere to the planning process. He said the park district has a plan that puts about $150,000 of improvements to the corner of Main Street and Roosevelt Road.

10. Removal of exsisting field lights:

Luetkehans said the park district feels "very strongly" about keeping the existing lights. "They allow us to build a foodball or soccer field in between the existing lights. That's our intent." He said the district hopes to avoid removing the lights, then going back to the city for approval when it plans to install new lights for the field.

11. Removal of tennis courts at Central Park:

Removing the tennis courts, Luetkehans said, would be costly and would require the park district to move them to the flood plain. "We'd have to pay to move them and to build additional compensatory storage. That's something we feel strongly about avoiding," he said. "Those are highy used tennis courts and we hope to continue (to use them)."

12. Construction of a sidewalk along the west side of Main Street from Indiana Street to Roosevelt Road and reparation of existing sidewalk defects:

Luetkehans said the park district is not increasing the use of that part of the property and therefore did not budget for sidewalks. "That's an expense we haven't budgeted for and I don't know that we have the funds for," he said.

13. Construction of a sidewalk along the north side of the grocery store private roadway between Naperville Road and Main Street:

Luetkehans said the park district intends to put a walking path on the south side of Central Park Drive ("access road" to be built down the middle of the site, connecting Naperville Road and Main Street). He added, "we're also intending to put some form of path around the fields anyway," which would connect to the paths at the gateway park ().

14. Improvements to provide a second left-turn lane for north bound Naperville Road at Roosevelt Road, and a right-turn lane for west bound Roosevelt Road at Naperville Road:

Pagnotta said Bradford would comply to the requirements of the appropriate agencies. Roosevelt Road, he said, is under the jurisdiction of the Illinois Department of Transportation, which has not requested the second left-turn lane.

15. Revised site plan to remove a private roadway from Lot 6:

The private roadway (connecting Main Street to Roosevelt Road behind Lot 6) will be removed. Bradford will provide a right-in/right-out drive and temporary parking for the tennis courts, Pagnotta said.

16. Added city decorative lighting along Naperville Road from Roosevelt Road to Indiana Street, and private similar decorative stret lighting along the private grocery store roadway:

"It's our opinion this should be a requirement of the city, and it's not part of our plan or our budget at this time," Pagnotta said.

17. Revised plat of resubdivision to consolidate adjacent parcels that are to be under the same ownership:

Luetkehans said the lots need to remain separate because there will be transfers of property.

Editor's note: Patch will post an updated, more detailed article from the hearing Tuesday, Feb. 14.

Confused? Here's what's happening:

Bradford Equities, LLC is buying the old Hubble school site from Community Unit School District 200 and plans to redevelop the site to bring a Mariano's Fresh Market to the corner of Roosevelt and Naperville Roads. of $5,000,200 in June.

The Wheaton Park District is also in on the deal, with plans to buy part of the school building from Bradford (for $3 million), to hang on to the three gyms it uses for athletics year-round. Bradford will also donate a parcel of open space for athletic fields to the park district. The two will also swap Bradford's open space at the corner of Main Street and Roosevelt Road for the park district's Central Park property.

Bradford and the park district will present plans for the site to City Council, which will decide whether to approve a Planned Unit Development (PUD) that would allow Bradford to move forward with the deal.

More background:

The old Hubble school closed in 2009, when District 200 moved students to the new Hubble Middle School building in Warrenville (take a look at the complete Hubble timeline, courtesy of the District 200 website). The park district became the main user of the site, accommodating more than 90,000 user hours per year. From 2007-2010, the city formed the Hubble Steering Committee, which considered possible uses for the site. In February 2011, District 200 put the school on the market for $10 million to sell in a sealed bid process.

When the district received no bids by the bid opening date April 14, the price was reduced to $5 million. The Wheaton Park District made an offer of $2 million on the property in May, with a letter of intent with Bradford to bring Mariano's to the site. But the offer that worked was Bradford's, which had the same letter of intent, just a different buyer and higher price.

Who's who? Here are some of the main players:

Bradford Equities is the developer and buyer of the site. CFO Chad Jones has been a spokesman for the project since June. Steve Pagnotta is the president and founder of Bradford and William Shank is the architect.

The Wheaton Park District is Bradford's partner in the deal. Mike Benard is the executive director of the park district. Commissioner Phil Luetkehans has led a subcommittee to iron out details of the deal. Ray Morrill is the president of commissioners. Other commissioners: Steve Fieweger, John Kelly, Terry Mee, Mark Schobel and Kim VanderSchaaf.

Roundy's is the parent company of Mariano's. Dan Farrell, vice president of real estate for Mariano's, presented council with background on the company and some details pertaining to the store operations.

Community Unit School District 200 is the seller of the property. Brian Harris is the District 200 superintendent. Bill Farley is the assistant superintendent of business operations. Rosemary Swanson is the president of the District 200 Board of Education.

V3 Infrastructures is the engineering firm working on the project. Derrick Martin spoke to residents in January about plans for the site. John Brown addressed engineering issues.

Kenig, Lindgren, O'Hara and Aboona, Inc. (KLOA) is the firm that performed a Traffic Impact Study for the site. Luay Aboona will address traffic issues.

Drew Ranieri, of Solomon Cordwell Buenz, addressed design elements of the building.

City of Wheaton officials involved in the deal include City Manager Don Rose, Jim Kozik, director of economic development and Paul Redman, director of engineering. City Council includes Wheaton Mayor Mike Gresk and council members Jeanne Ives, Tom Mouhelis, Evelyn Pacino-Sanguinetti, John Rutledge, Todd Scalzo and Phil Suess.

Want more? Below is a list of recent Patch coverage related to Hubble:

Jeff Sand February 14, 2012 at 12:11 AM
Thanks for the rundown of all the parties involved. It's good to see things moving forward. I would just add a correction that Hubble closed as a school in 2009, not 2007.
Carrie Provost February 15, 2012 at 12:37 AM
Wheaton residents will be very fortunate to have a Mariano's at this site. My husband and I visited their new store in Palatine, and were extremely impressed. I think it is a "win-win" for the community!
Charlotte Eriksen February 15, 2012 at 04:25 AM
agreed! I went to the one in Arlington Heights. Their cupcakes are unreal.


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