Aurora OKs soccer field complex
By Stephanie Lulay firstname.lastname@example.org October 10, 2013 6:56PM
Hugo Saltijeral would like to be an alderman in the 1st Ward in Aurora. | Submitted
Updated: November 12, 2013 6:36AM
AURORA — After questions, Aurora will allow an existing warehouse to be revamped into a new soccer facility at Aurora and Henkes avenues.
Aldermen voted 8-2 to approve a special use permit for the new complex at 855 Aurora Ave. at City Council this week. Aldermen John “Whitey” Peters, 5th Ward, and Lynne Johnson, 10th Ward, voted against the measure.
Champion Soccer Arena Inc. will rent the 7.87-acre lot for indoor and outdoor soccer fields from 875 Aurora LLC. The existing warehouse building is the former home to the McKee Door Manufacturing facility.
Eva Strzelczykska, Champion Soccer manager, said the six-year-old company owns four other facilities in Chicago. Champion plans to offer the fields to independent soccer leagues on weeknights and weekends.
Aurora Zoning Administrator Ed Sieben said the facility will have more than 120 parking spots.
The city originally asked Champion to provide several new features to the lot in phases: a landscape setback on Hankes Avenue; a sidewalk along Aurora and Henkes; the removal of a chain link fence; and removal of unused utility poles and landscaping.
Last week, Strzelczykska said it would be too expensive to install sidewalks and setbacks.
This week, Sieben said the city would no longer require Champion to install sidewalks because of the property’s proximity to the nearby Prairie Path. The city is instead requiring Champion to install an edging treatment.
Calling the deal a “gamble,” Johnson said she felt Champion’s representatives did not address parking concerns.
“There weren’t any definite plans or preparation,” Johnson said. “There were unanswered questions at Committee of the Whole, and I didn’t feel those questions were any more answered.”