JOLIET, IL — It’s been three years since the Joliet Country Club closed, and on Wednesday afternoon, Joliet Mayor Bob O’Dekirk announced at his annual state of the city speech that the land will not become a slew of warehouse and distribution centers.

Through the efforts of U.S. Congressman Bill Foster, “a grant is being awarded to the Joliet Housing Authority,” O’Dekirk told the crowd of 250 gathered at the Harrah’s Casino ballroom. “The plan is for the Housing Authority to buy the property at the Joliet Country Club and put senior housing, or work force housing, out there on the redevelopment site.

“Again … that’s vacant property that has gone undeveloped. I’m very proud of (Housing Authority of Joliet CEO) Michael Simelton and the housing authority board for their hard work. This is a project, again, that we’ve been chasing for at least a year now. And it’s going to come to fruition, so I’m glad I can make that announcement today,” O’Dekirk said.

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This conceptual masterplan is from the Housing Authority of Joliet’s non-profit HopeBound Development Corp.

Housing Authority of Joliet Commissioner Garland Mays, who attended the mayor’s speech, called it exciting news to learn Congressman Foster came through with $3 million in funds.

“We’re excited about it, and we were waiting to hear back, so this is a great day for us,” Mays told Joliet Patch afterward. “For the next step, I’m sure Mr. Simelton and staff are ready to go.

Find out what’s happening in Jolietwith free, real-time updates from Patch.

“We’re going to build some very beautiful affordable homes,” Mays continued. “It will be more of a mixed community, it’s not just going to be for seniors.”

Mays said the development could include a grocery store and “the swimming pool and clubhouse will remain. It’s going to be a great community for many families to come there and live.”

Garland Mays has been a Housing Authority of Joliet commissioner since 2019. Image via Garland Mays

Mays said it was his understanding the Joliet housing authority development at the Joliet Country Club property could include “over 140 homes.”

Mays praised the city of Joliet staff and mayor for being in opposition to the Joliet Country Club property owner’s original plans to redevelop the land by putting several warehouses on the site.

At a January 2019 Joliet City Council meeting, Doug Riccolo, introduced himself as the principle of the Joliet Golf Club. He lives in the Naperville area.

Joliet Patch has left a voice mail message seeking Riccolo’s reaction to Wednesday’s news.

“It’s going to be developed as gorgeous houses,” Mays said.

Last May, Joliet Patch reported that the Joliet Country Club at 1009 Spencer Road was being actively marketed by property investors trying to sell the 146 acres as a “commercial” development, according to city of Joliet officials.

A real estate brochure on LoopNet highlighted how the Joliet Country Club property was less than 6 miles from the Intermodals for Union Pacific railroad and 12 miles from the BNSF intermodal.

This conceptual masterplan is from the Housing Authority of Joliet’s non-profit HopeBound Development Corp.

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