$110M Mixed-Use Wheeling Town Center Anticipates Spring ’17 Groundbreaking, Completion A Year Later
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Wheeling Town Center, a $110M, transit-oriented, mixed-use development at 351 West Dundee Road (the former Wickes Furniture site), is slated to break ground spring 2017.
WTC will feature approximately 300 luxury apartments and 100k SF of retail, anchored by a movie theater and dinner theater, to complement its planned restaurants and specialty store parcels.
Its two driving forces: Experience and walkability.
With the traditional American shopping mall concept declining in popularity as consumer attitudes toward shopping change, "experience is the word of the day in retail, and it is something that shoppers have come to expect in all types of centers,” according to Shopping Center Business.
WTC's entertainment options are reflective of this paradigm shift, driven in large part by Millennials who conduct most of their shopping online.
The project, a joint venture between WTC, LLC and the Lynmark Group, already has letters of intent from Starbucks, Potbelly, Andy’s Frozen Custard, CMX theaters, Noodles and Co and others. One thing these future tenants share: their relative immunity to extinction by internet, as you can't enjoy them virtually.
Lynmark Group director of Midwest operations Brad Friedman hopes these options will entice many of the 832,000 residents, with median household incomes of $135k (almost triple the national average), within the 10-mile radius around the WTC site.
The project is adjacent to the Wheeling Metra Station, and the entire project is designed with pedestrians in mind.
“At its inception, the Town Center was designed around a pedestrian friendly plaza area that would provide a central gathering place for the community and serve as a destination for all of the nearby residents,” Brad says.
Phase 1 will commence with site utility work in conjunction with a pipeline relocation in the next several weeks. Then, in the spring, the developer will break ground on the residential building, the movie theater and the Village Green.
The Village Green will provide upscale landscape and streetscape elements with outdoor seating, lighting, fountains and other architectural features.
“Phase 2 will encompass the outlots along Dundee Road, which will likely be collectively built out after Phase 1 leasing benchmarks are reached,” Village of Wheeling director of economic development John Melaniphy tells us.
The entire project’s expected to wrap up in spring 2018, with the residential portion of the project taking the full 18 months and the retail component, starting soon after, to be finished in 12.
The project had to overcome several obstacles during the planning and approval process.
“Building downtown is a complex undertaking,” says John. “The Village had to collaborate with numerous stakeholders that are vested in WTC’s success, including the Wheeling Park District, Metra, Pace Bus Service, USPS, Village businesses and residents.”
He tells us nearby Heritage Park is already a big draw, with its nearly 100-acre Wheeling Park District facility containing a rec center, aquatic center, band shell, baseball and soccer fields, walking trails and other amenities.
To maximize this resource, he and his team “made WTC accessible through the park to craft a seamless, pedestrian-friendly environment.”
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