Homewood Announces Boutique Hotel Plans for Central Business District

The $4-million dollar project in Homewood's downtown aims to help revitalize the village's central business district.

A new hotel is coming to , but not where you might expect.

Village President Richard Hofeld announced (with great excitement) last Friday the finalized sale of the historic building in downtown Homewood. A boutique hotel will be replacing it, he said.

“Residents and business owners have asked for us to bring interesting, unique businesses to the downtown area," Hofeld said. "This development marks a new day for Homewood and represents years of planning and cooperative efforts from village and bank staff alike,” 

The downtown Great Lakes Bank branch is scheduled to move to and consolidate with the other Great Lakes Bank location in Homewood along Dixie Highway.

“Great Lakes Bank’s willingness to move its Homewood operations to the Dixie Highway branch was central in allowing village staff to solicit and market the desirable Ridge Road location," Hofeld said.

Dr. Claude Gendreau, owner of , bought the property. The boutique hotel will serve residents and businesses as it fills a void in Homewood's hospitality market, he said. Gendreau said his new hotel will primarily cater to several of the large businesses in Homewood that routinely send guests out of town for overnight accommodations.

“The Great Lakes Bank site offered everything I was looking for in a location for a new, upscale boutique hotel in Homewood,” Gendreau said. “(This includes) the bustling downtown atmosphere, easy access to shopping, restaurants and transportation and the charm and character of a wonderful neighborhood, Homewood."

The plans for the new hotel involve preserving the historic Great Lakes Bank building. Gendreau says he plans to create 35 to 40 guest rooms in the new facility. The hotel, as planned, is en route to becoming Homewood's first Leadership in Energy an Environmental Design (LEED) certified property. The LEED green building rating system—developed and administered by the U.S. Green Building Council—is designed to promote design and construction practices that increase profitability while reducing the negative environmental impacts of buildings and improving occupant health and well-being. In addition, over 30 jobs are expected to be created along with the new hotel.

The sale of Great Lakes Bank comes at a key time in the reenergizing of the downtown Homewood business district, according to Hofeld. 

“Great Lakes Bank is proud to continue its long history of partnership with and stewardship to Homewood, and is excited to offer our customers a new level of service and speed at our nearby Dixie Highway branch, which is also in Homewood," Great Lakes President Ronald T. Shropshire said. "This branch will become the largest bank branch in the Village.

“We share the Village of Homewood’s vision to revitalize downtown Homewood and see this as a significant opportunity for economic revitalization," Shropshire added. ”Great Lakes Bank’s strong and lasting commitment to Homewood and the other communities it serves will continue, as the Bank focuses all of its Homewood customer operations at the Dixie Highway branch when it moves and consolidates operations."

Great Lakes Bank will close the Ridge Road location in June 2012 and consolidate operations at its other Homewood location, 18600 Dixie Highway. The seven employees at the Ridge Road branch will be able to take jobs either at the second Homewood branch or at other Great Lakes locations, according to Shropshire.

Gendreau estimates the upscale boutique hotel will open in the Fall of 2013.

Phillip R Baggs April 03, 2012 at 11:16 AM
Dr. Gendreau is a smart man. The twin cities drive everyone out by removing their children's teachers and smothering them with outrageous property taxes. Dr. Gendreau brings them back to visit. He even chose a bank which should very safe as the town around it falls apart.
Claude Gendreau April 12, 2012 at 07:57 PM
I want to thank all of you who expressed support for the hotel project that will extend the life of the Great Lakes Building. The fantastic support that I received from the Homewood community following the re-opening of Ravisloe weighed heavily in my decision to take on this project. Your words of encouragement are very much welcomed. Thank you, Claude Gendreau
BlackHawks Fan April 21, 2012 at 01:16 PM
I am very excited about the future of Homewood. We have many wonderful things going on and they seem to be getting better too. Thank you Dr. Claude Gendreau for your vision and support for our community.
Johnson hammer December 10, 2012 at 05:12 PM
And that is why we are staying. The mayor, and board, are really making this a town worth fighting for. Still against the casino, but glad to know other projects are in the works. Keep it up! This town is worth it.
informedhuman December 10, 2012 at 07:08 PM
Inform yourselves people the doctor has cut a HUGE tax deal paying nothing for 12 years...


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