Trampoline park, soccer center proposed for former Gordmans in Vernon Hills
GW Rivertree LLC of Chicago is the contract purchaser of the 52,500-square-foot building that once housed the AMC Rivertree Court theater. The proposal is to remodel the interior to provide 32,500 square feet for Sky Zone and 20,000 square feet for Lil’ Kickers.
“I grew up going to the Vernon Hills movie theater and I think this will restore back a little bit more to what it should be,” Mitch Goltz of GW Rivertree told the commission this past week.
“They’re excited. We’re excited,” he added.
According to information provided to the village, Sky Zone is an indoor trampoline park with more than 100 locations in the U.S., Canada, Mexico and Australia. The company operates locally in Elmhurst, Aurora and Orland Park. It offers a variety of programs and activities for individuals and groups and has been ranked one of “America’s Most Promising Companies” by Forbes.
Lil’ Kickers uses soccer as the focus of a curriculum to help children build physical, intellectual and emotional skills. The company has a facility in Palatine and is planning locations in Lake Zurich and Barrington.
The interior building renovation would create independent, separate spaces for each business. The commission voted 5-0 to recommend approval with variations for the size and number of signs.
“I think this is a destination which is great use for a building that has some challenges,” said Commissioner Jeri Cotton. “I’m very happy they found a use so quickly.”
The theater closed in 2010. The village approved an incentive with Inland Commercial Property Management, which has owned the center since 1997, not to exceed $385,000 to retrofit and expand the vacant theater for Gordmans. However, nothing was paid because required proof of prevailing wage was not provided, according to the village. The agreement ended when the store closed.
This past March, Gordmans, which employed more than 5,000 people and ran over 100 stores in 22 Midwest states, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.
Goltz said he leases space to Sky Zone in Orland Park and it is among the company’s top performers. Vernon Hills was a “very similar” type of location, he added.
“I think the community will embrace it,” he said.
GW Rivertree also will have to secure approval from the village board to allow the space to be converted to a non-retail sales establishment.
Source: Daily Herald