Sustainability Measures

Sustainability Measures Embraced by the Development Team and Hilton Corporation for the New Homewood Suites Hotel and Conference Center by Hilton

Given the public-private partnership with E&M Strategic Development for the new Skokie Homewood Suites and Conference Center, the Village is committed to advance sustainability measures for this project overall. In addition to the hotel, the project entails other adjunct efforts to include the construction of a new centralized parking garage to serve the public need in downtown, hotel guests, and accommodate future needs at the Illinois Science + Technology Park. In order to accommodate Electric Vehicles (EV's), the Village has committed to provide EV charging stations throughout the garage with anticipation of expanding their availability in the future. Furthermore, Hilton Corporation has led the hospitality industry in the quest to achieve net zero status by embracing a plan entitled Toward 2030. 

The following narrative is provided by Mark Meyer, General Partner for E&M Strategic Development (the hotel developer) which describes how the team is advancing the sustainability of the hotel project. 

After 5 years and support of the Skokie community and elected officials, the construction for the Homewood Suites Development located in downtown Skokie is underway. If you’ve been on Oakton recently, you may have seen the demolition progress of the current structure. As part of the project’s commitment to environmental responsibility as the project comes to life, we would like to share more about the demolition process and efforts taken thus far.

In the planning of this project, it would have been preferred to preserve the existing building that used to house the dental college on the site.  However, due to the costs of repurposing the structure to the hotel, insufficient infrastructure, and health/safety concerns, it was deemed unfeasible option.  Thus, removal of the building was required.  While simply using a wrecking ball or explosives would have been cheaper and faster, that method was not within the best interests of ourselves or the community.  

In the bid process, demolition contractors were selected based on the following criteria:

  • Safety- Take all efforts for the safety of their team and citizens of Skokie
  • Recycling- Prioritizing the recycling of any materials possible
  • Environment- Efforts to minimize negative effects on the environment
  • Inconvenience- Minimize the inconvenience to local businesses and Skokie citizens
  • Budget- Perform the demolition within the budget and timeline to open hotel doors as soon as possible

After several rounds of negotiations, Alpine Demolition Services from St. Charles, IL was selected as the demolition contractor.  Thus far, the following efforts have been made:

Safety- Through oversite being provided by Russell Construction (the general contractor), each on-site employee completes a specific safety course for the project, is fully OSHA compliant, and is being careful while completing their efforts.

Recycling- It is a priority to reuse as much of the debris from demolition is a priority to Alpine.  Following are comments by Chris Lump, Alpine Project Manager:

  • Concrete will go to a yard where they will crush the concrete and reuse the stone for future projects
  • The garbage (drywall/insulation/carpet/ceiling tiles/casework) are all taken to a recycling plant.  From there the garbage goes through a process that separates out material that can be recycled and reused, and material that can’t be reused is sent to a landfill.   Typically, we find that nearly 95% of the garbage that gets sent to a recycling plant is recycled and reused.   Only an estimated 5% will see a landfill.
  • Nonferrous and ferrous metals – metals without iron and with iron -- are taken to a separate yard.  At the yard they are separated into different grades, processed into smaller pieces, and stent to steel mills that reuse salvageable materials for many misc. items.   
  • Brick is sent to a yard to be crushed and used for backfilling material.

Environment- It is our hope to significantly limit the impact of carbon emissions, air and noise pollution, and properly dispose harmful materials while preserving existing trees and greenspace.  These efforts include:

  • Requesting that all contractors utilize equipment that meets EPA requirements for emission standards
  • Demolition efforts utilizing water to keep construction dust to a minimum and limiting work that could cause noise issue to normal work hours.
  • Any harmful materials are identified and disposed of with the oversite of Russell Construction
  • Existing Trees were treated prior to construction to limit root expansion, fenced, and protected to the best of our ability in coordination with the Village of Skokie

Inconvenience- As the project continues, there will be some disruptions to traffic (vehicle and foot) that cannot be avoided for public and construction safety.  We are taking great efforts to minimalize time required to divert traffic and restrict impact local businesses.  It is our hope that the construction efforts are seen as a net positive as the project progresses with the landscape changes almost daily over the next few months.

Please look for additional updates in the future and wish to thank you in advance for your understanding and patience. We look forward to continuing to keep the Community updated as the Homewood Suites by Hilton come to the Skokie downtown.

Until next time,

Mark Meyer

General Partner

EM Strategic Development, LLC