Illinois Daily Press
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Elk Grove Village buys Heavenly Our bodies and neighboring properties for $6.15 million



For 20 years, Elk Grove Village Mayor Craig Johnson had a gents’s settlement with the proprietor of gents’s membership Heavenly Our bodies: Take my neighborhood’s identify out of your radio commercials, and I received’t annex you into city.

“They stored working the commercials: ‘Heavenly Our bodies, Heavenly Our bodies, Elk Grove Village, Elk Grove Village.’ They weren’t in Elk Grove Village,” the longtime mayor stated Wednesday.

Now, not solely will the long-standing strip membership on the southwest nook of Higgins and Elmhurst roads quickly be annexed into the village, however Johnson will get the keys to the entrance door.

Village board members agreed this week to pay $6.15 million for 5 separate parcels totaling 2.77 acres on the nook, together with Heavenly Our bodies, a shuttered Burger King restaurant and Marathon fuel station, and parking heaps.

Regardless of some light ribbing on the village board dais Tuesday evening, Johnson and village officers received’t be working the present. The membership, which opened in 1989, is anticipated to have its final dance shortly earlier than the scheduled June 17 closing on the sale.

“No, the village is not going to be working Heavenly Our bodies,” Johnson stated. “After we shut, then it will likely be closing down additionally.”

Proprietor Michael Wellek, who died simply weeks in the past, had been in talks with village officers for months a few potential buy of the prime nook actual property in unincorporated Elk Grove Township. The deal was formally inked this week with a administration company and belief managed by his widow.

The village has been shopping for and flipping properties within the space, appearing as a kind of grasp developer to — as Johnson calls it — “drive the bus (fairly) than journey the bus” in terms of redevelopment.

“Now with the complete Elmhurst interchange, that nook is the primary essential nook after you get off (the Jane Addams Tollway),” Johnson stated. “That may and can develop into a distinguished nook if you’re coming into the village.”

Johnson stated there aren’t any rapid plans for the property, apart from tearing the buildings down. The village board will formally vote on ordinances annexing the strip membership into city; the outdated Burger King and fuel station are already inside Elk Grove Village correct.

Due to that contiguity, the village way back might have forcibly annexed Heavenly Our bodies. However as a result of the motion wouldn’t have been voluntary, the strip membership would have been grandfathered into the municipal zoning code and been allowed to proceed working.

Johnson stated there was by no means a need to take action, because the verbal settlement labored for him and Wellek. In addition to altering the notorious radio advertisements — lengthy a presence on native AM sports activities radio — Johnson received Wellek to offer the police and hearth departments entry to the property, and clear up landscaping across the constructing.

“We butted heads a little bit bit,” Johnson stated of his preliminary interactions with Wellek.

However after sitting right down to hash out an settlement, “I’ve had an excellent working relationship with him for 20 years,” Johnson stated. “We’re very appreciative that he was keen — and now his spouse was keen — to work with us.”

Wellek wasn’t on such good phrases with the federal authorities.

In 2003, investigators discovered $12 million in money inside luggage stashed away at a warehouse behind Heavenly Our bodies. Federal prosecutors stated it was unreported revenue from the Elk Grove enterprise and two different strip golf equipment Wellek operated on the time in Harvey and Markham.

He pleaded responsible in 2010 to 1 rely of obstructing the Inside Income Service within the assortment of taxes and one rely of submitting a false federal revenue tax return, and was sentenced months later to a 12 months in jail and 6 months of dwelling confinement. He additionally was ordered to pay a nice of $75,000 and carry out 200 hours of neighborhood service.

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