HOFFMAN ESTATES, IL (CelebrityAccess MediaWire) — The Hoffman Estates Village Board has approved a plan to start construction for a new $34 million dollar outdoor amphitheater, despite the efforts of some local residents.
The plan was approved at a contentious meeting on Monday night which saw locals who were in opposition to the plan walking out of the meeting when it became clear that the measure would be approved, the Chicago Tribune reported
"I appeal to the board," said Heather Koch, one of 14 residents who spoke before the votes. "You're not just voting on the arena; you're voting on the quality of life for us and our children."
The primary bone of contention for the residents was concerns about excessive noise generated by the venue. The developer, Prairie Creek Properties LLC, had taken steps to address these concerns by re-orienting the facing of the stage, including more sound-absorbing material in the construction and by using the seating area as a noise baffle
"We listened to what the residents and neighbors said, and we made changes based on what they told us," Jam Music founder Jerry Mickelson, one of the 4 developers working on the project told the Tribune.
Town officials are hoping that the financial benefits accrued to the town will outweigh the possible noise-related agita and are estimating that the 9,400 seat shed will generate $294,000 annually in property, sales, entertainment and other taxes from the estimated 30-40 shows a year. This take will theoretically increase in 2013, when development "incentives" expire and the town then expects to realize $474,000 annually, the Tribune reported. Currently, the facility is slated for a Memorial Day weekend 2009 opening. – CelebrityAccess Staff Writers