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Villa Park bets OTB attracts company
Village hopes parlor brings in some revenue -- and more development
By Jack Komperda | Daily Herald Staff
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Published: 2/7/2008 12:09 AM

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Villa Park leaders are hoping to lure an off-track betting parlor to the site of an old Denny's restaurant near North Park Mall.

The village will host a public hearing Tuesday on a plan by Arlington Park racetrack to build a restaurant with an adjacent OTB parlor near the shopping center at North Avenue and Addison Road.

If things go their way, Villa Park officials hope the project could add more than $100,000 in annual revenue to village coffers from gambling revenue and attract commercial development to a tax-increment financing district in the area.

"We'd be replacing what used to be a rundown Denny's and putting up a nice restaurant," Village Manager Bob Niemann said Wednesday. "It would be good for retail traffic in the area."

Villa Park leaders first approached Arlington Park and Inter-Track Partners, which owns a similar betting parlor in nearby Oakbrook Terrace, about two years ago to gauge their interest, Niemann said.

The off-track betting parlor in Oakbrook Terrace earns that city between $700,000 and $800,000 a year, Oakbrook Terrace City Administrator Martin Bourke said.

Several calls to Arlington Park and its parent company, Churchill Downs Inc., weren't returned.

Niemann said the proposed restaurant and OTB parlor would be about 10,000 square feet. The project would need the approval of both the village board and the Illinois Racing Board before it is built.

Assuming there is no outcry against the proposal, Niemann said the OTB parlor could be up and running by the end of the year.

Roy Arnold, president of Arlington Park, is expected to make a presentation on the proposal during Tuesday's public hearing, which is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. at village hall, 20 S. Ardmore Ave.