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Levees, live entertainment, and a potential new Ridge Road business – Village Board highlights

By Josh Bootsma

LANSING, Ill. (October 5, 2022) – The Lansing Village Board met on Tuesday, October 4, to discuss new businesses coming to town, construction projects, rehabilitating Lansing’s levee, and other matters. A topic-by-topic summary of the meeting is below:

KYNGZ Restaurant

After originally appearing at a Village Board Committee of the Whole meeting in May, some of the owners of KYNGZ Restaurant came to Tuesday night’s meeting to see the board approve their special use permit to host “live entertainment,” and to approve their request for a liquor license.

After initial questions were raised by trustees about the restaurant’s open hours, as well as what kind of “live entertainment” would be present at the business, KYNGZ owners David Nathaniel, Anthony Pratt, Larry Williams, Roosevelt Walker, and Martin Granberry hosted Village trustees and administrators for multiple visits to their establishment, located at 16731 Torrence Avenue.

Now occupying the former Old Country Buffet space at 16731 Torrence Avenue, KYNGZ, when opened, will be capable of serving many diners at once. (Photo: Karen Abbott-Trimuel)

On Tuesday, Village trustees voted unanimously to approve a special use for “live entertainment,” as well as a liquor license for the business.

“I just want to make sure that it’s understood and that it’s on the public record that the fine dining aspect of this business needs to be done according to the business plan as it was presented,” Zeldenrust said, receiving affirmative answers from KYNGZ owners present at the meeting.

Lansing levee study and rehab

During the Committee of the Whole meeting, Village Engineer Jeff Pintar of Robinson Engineering walked trustees through what will be a years-long project in Lansing: A U.S. Army Corps of Engineers-run project that would rehabilitate and modify the existing levee and floodwall system along the Little Calumet River, which marks Lansing’s northern border.

“It doesn’t take much for your whole levee system … to cause a significant amount of flooding for residents,” said Pintar, who showed photos of a 2008 flood in Lansing near the Riverwood apartment complex.

The above photo shows the Riverwood Apartments Homes during the flood of 2008 in Lansing. (Photo provided by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.)

The most time-consuming part of the process, Pintar said, will be obtaining easement rights with residents, some of whom may need to lose trees or move structures in their yards to accommodate the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ requirements.

At its next board meeting, the Board will vote to enter into a partnership agreement with the Army Corps of Engineers for engineering on the project, of which Lansing will foot a $23,500 bill.

An aerial view of the Lansing levee and Little Calumet City River near the Riverwood Apartment Homes in Lansing. (Photo: Josh Bootsma)

More information about the levee project can be found in the article below, written in September of 2021:

Jonetta Smith and JLS Enterprises eyeing Ridge Road location

Jonetta Smith is a Lansing resident who owns a real estate development company called 203k Loans and Renovations. Smith aspires to acquire and rehabilitate 3251 Ridge Road, which is a Lansing-owned property that has long been vacant. Her current plan is to use part of the ground floor as a showroom for her business’ services, alongside offices. The back part of the property, Smith said, would be used by her daughter to run a facial spa. Two apartments would be rehabbed on the top floor, one of which would be used by Smith’s daughter, Smith said.

Jonetta Smith presents her vision for 3251 Ridge Road to the Village Board of Trustees Tuesday night. (Photo: Josh Bootsma)

“If the board wants to move forward, we will grant an exclusive window of 90 to 120 days where we will negotiate only with Jonetta. We won’t show the building to anybody else, we’ll give her some time to complete her cost estimates, construction estimates, and put a budget together,” Village Administrator Dan Podgorksi said.

“My purpose and goal for this project is to make this the headquarters of JLS Enterprises,” Smith said. “JLS Enterprises will showcase a kitchen or a bathroom, conference area, and we’ll meet our clients here at the headquarters. This will be a cornerstone business in Lansing.”

Trustees will vote on October 18 to approve a letter of intent with Jonetta Smith.

Other business

  • A much-discussed and ongoing project, trustees voted to authorize an intergovernmental agreement with Cook County that would accept $400,000 in grant money towards engineering and construction costs to rebuild Chicago Avenue north of 170th Street. The project would also include a path linking the Lansing Sports Complex (Old Timers Field) to the Pennsy Greenway.
  • Trustees voted to approve a bid of $157,415.58 for roof repairs at a hangar located at the Lansing Municipal Airport.
  • Trustees approved the purchase of an exhaust extraction system for the Lansing Fire Department.
Josh Bootsma
Josh Bootsma
Josh is Managing Editor at The Lansing Journal and believes in the power and purpose of community news. He covers any local topics—from village government to theatre, from business openings to migratory birds.