LANSING | Municipal officials said Friday they are taking special interest in the possible sale of the Pioneer Motel – whose iconic windmill is a sight people have seen for decades as they enter the south suburban village off Interstate 80.
Village Administrator J. Wynsma said officials learned this week the Pioneer Motel’s owners are looking to sell the structure, located at 17600 Torrence Ave. It is on the southwest corner of the intersection with the interstate and across Torrence Avenue from the Super Wal-Mart store now under construction.
Because of its location and proximity to other businesses the village is hoping will develop in future years, Wynsma said the fate of the Pioneer Motel — which until the late 1960s was known as the Dutch Mill Motel — will get extra attention from Lansing government.
"That’s our No. 1 priority location,” Wynsma said of the motel. “We are very interested in who winds up buying that property, and what they choose to do with it.”
Although Wynsma on Friday did not know if anyone had come forth to express interest in buying the property, or what the asking price was for the motel. The motel's website says it offers traditional guest rooms along with Jacuzzi suites and also has close proximity to downtown Chicago and to the River Oaks shopping center in neighboring Calumet City.
Motel officials were unavailable on Friday to comment about the possibility of a transaction for the property.
This is not the first time Lansing government in recent years has paid attention to the Pioneer Motel.
In June 2012, the Village Board voted to extend a tax increment finance district along Bernice Road to include the Super Wal-Mart location and the Pioneer Motel property.
Inclusion in the TIF district could allow the village to offer financial incentives to any new owner of the Pioneer Motel property for any improvements they may choose to make. Village President Norm Abbott said at the time it would give the village a say should the property ever become vacant.
The IllinoisWindmills.org website also includes the Pioneer Motel on its list of historically significant structures across the state whose architectural design incorporates windmills.