Burr Ridge: Project proposal must be ‘special’ to get support
Children play in the fountain in the center of Village Green June 16. | Jon Langham~for Sun-Times Media
Updated: August 20, 2012 11:17AM
BURR RIDGE — Trustee Robert Sodikoff was chairman of the Burr Ridge Plan Commission when the idea of a movie theater in the village was last floated in 1996.
Concerns at that time were with traffic, crime and the effect on neighborhoods. Sodikoff and other trustees said they would have the same concerns about a new theater proposal, but will wait to form their opinions after all of the information is in.
“My job as a trustee is something like a doctor. First, do no harm,” said Sodikoff, who said he would welcome the right project into the village. “It’s not appropriate to make up my mind before all the facts are in.”
Preliminary plans for land on the east side of Burr Ridge Parkway are for a 14-screen movie theater and an 18-lane bowling alley. The theater, as proposed, would include four screens for private and corporate use. There is talk of incorporating a community theater into the deal.
“It would be a major project in Burr Ridge,” said Mayor Gary Grasso. Grasso has said the theater and bowling facility fit well into the village’s goal to become an entertainment destination, but any plan has to be right for the village.
“We continue to take real baby steps,” said Grasso, who said he plans to speak to nearby homeowners to gauge their feelings about the proposal.
“It’s a very sensitive project. I’m cognizant of that.”
Tamar Gill of Burr Ridge would welcome the project.
“It definitely would be an asset to Burr Ridge. If I could be there to vote, I would go vote,” Gill said.
But another Burr Ridge resident, who asked not to be identified, said he fears the crowd a theater will attract.
“You’re going to bring in a lot of riff raff,” the 10-year resident said. “I don’t think this area needs it.”
Rich Peters, who lives in unincorporated Willowbrook near Burr Ridge, has lived in the area since 1984 and was in favor of the last theater proposal. Peters said people are going to go to the theater, and he would like to keep the money in town.
Jennifer Chillo of Hinsdale said she also would welcome an entertainment venue so close to home.
But just any theater or bowling alley won’t do for Burr Ridge, Grasso said.
“This has to be a project that would be unique and special for it to get the support of the board and me,” he said.