A Harley-Davidson motorcycle dealership and retail store will be the latest addition to Rosemont's entertainment district in 2018, officials said Wednesday.
Windy City Motorcycle Company, which owns and operates 14 locations in the suburbs and southern Wisconsin, announced plans to develop a two-story, 20,000-square-foot brick building at MB Financial Park. Through an ordinance approved Wednesday by the village board, the company will lease village-owned space at the park, currently a surface parking lot between Hofbrauhaus Chicago and the Big Ten Conference headquarters.
Windy City CEO Ozzie Giglio said he chose Rosemont for its central location, entertainment offerings and proximity to O'Hare International Airport. A shuttle will run between the Harley dealership and the airport and surrounding hotels.
The new location will sell Harley merchandise and products, and be Windy City's new corporate headquarters, relocating from St. Charles.
The location will also house and operate Windy City's centralized national and international rental and tours operations for the greater Chicago area, allowing riders to rent bikes and go on guided tours to Sturgis, South Dakota, and along Route 66.
Between 8,000 and 10,000 customers are expected to pick up motorcycles in Rosemont per year. The village will also receive proceeds from a 2 percent vehicle rental tax put in place under former Mayor Donald Stephens.
In a news release Wednesday, Windy City officials described the proposed building as "iconic," modeled off the Harley factory in Milwaukee. A preliminary sketch shows a water tank feature on top of the building, though village officials note that hasn't been approved yet.
The village will pay for a $1.5 million, 80-space underground parking garage, with a $200,000 contribution from Windy City. The garage will also have space to store the company's rental bikes.
Mayor Brad Stephens said he's been talking with Giglio for years in hopes of finding a spot for a Harley dealership in Rosemont. The entertainment district location makes sense, Stephens said, because of the possibility for special events such as chili cook-offs that can attract people Saturday and Sunday afternoons -- generally times of low attendance in the park.
Giglio and his wife, Jill, opened their first dealership in 2001. Today, they have 14 locations, including Villa Park, Palatine, St. Charles and Bloomingdale, and some 400 employees.
Construction on the Rosemont location is expected to start in the spring and be ready for opening in September or October 2018.