Proposed Homewood-East Hazel Crest casino subject of Monday hearing

Local residents will have a chance to weigh in on a casino proposal in Homewood and East Hazel Crest at a pair of public meetings that will take place next Monday.
 
The Homewood village board will hold a public hearing at 6:30 p.m. Oct. 7. At that time, the board will present a proposal for a casino development at Halsted Street just south of Interstate 80.

The 7 p.m. village board regular meeting was rescheduled from Tuesday to Monday in observance of the Yom Kippur Jewish holiday.

Both meetings will be held at the Marie Irwin Center at 18120 Highland Avenue. An agenda for the meetings will be posted at village hall and at the village website at least 48 hours before the meeting.
 
An Alabama-based company announced plans for the casino on Wednesday. Wind Creek Hospitality operates casinos for a Native American tribe in that state. According to published reports, the development would include a 64,000 square foot casino, restaurants and an entertainment venue on the 24 acres on the west side of Halsted just south of the I-80 interchange.
 
A proposal for a casino in Homewood and East Hazel Crest was first unveiled in November, 2012. The majority of the site is located in East Hazel Crest. It also includes the site of the former Homewood Hotel. According to the original proposal, the site is readily accessible to 130,000 vehicles each day, and is ideally situated to generate significant revenue for the state.
 
Several other south suburban communities have also expressed interest in becoming casino sites. A “racino” with horse racing and casino gambling has been proposed in Tinley Park at the site of the former state mental health center in that village.
 
Applications for proposed casinos must be submitted to the Illinois Gaming Board by Oct. 28.

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