Credit: Chicago Tribune

With community meetings planned for early May with residents to get input on their desired specific uses for the 34 acres of vacant property purchased from McDonald’s, the Oak Brook Park District is now seeking proposals from other stakeholders for field use.

“We have a lot of stakeholders really interested in the property,” said Laure Kosey, the park district’s executive director. “We want to be as transparent as possible in this whole process and want to make sure we do it the right way.”

Kosey said the park district already has received expressed interest in using fields on the property at Kensington Road and Jorie Boulevard from soccer, polo, lacrosse and cricket organizations.

“We even have one resident interested in a velodrome,” Kosey said.

A velodrome is an arena for track cycling.

The park district is accepting proposals through the end of May, Kosey said.

“It doesn’t mean we’ll accept anything submitted,” Kosey said. “We’re not looking for one particular sport to dominate use of the entire property.”

The newly acquired property, which has been dubbed Central Park North by the park district, has been used for many years as soccer fields, with the permission of McDonald’s.

The fast-food company purchased about 14 acres of the property in 1996 from the park district, which used the $10 million it collected to build the Family Recreation Center. McDonald’s put the 34 acres up for sale, along with other properties it owned in Oak Brook, because of its 2018 move to Chicago.

The park district went to voters with a Nov. 6, 2018, referendum to see if they were interested in the park district purchasing the property. The $17.9 million referendum was supported by 68 percent of voters.

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