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Kiddieland Site To Likely Become Costco

By Marcus Gilmer in News on Oct 28, 2009 2:00PM

Photo by pixeljones
When it was announced earlier this year that popular area amusement park Kiddieland would be closing due to a family feud, speculation circled that some family members were looking to sell the property for a construction project. Now, it seems those rumors are true as box-store giant Costco confirmed yesterday that they are looking into purchasing the land, according to the Proviso Herald. Costco senior executive vice president and chief operating officer Dick DiCerchio confirmed the plans.

“We are interested and have filed a letter of intent (to purchase) with the current property owners,” DiCerchio said.

“We need to get approval (from the village of Melrose Park), but I know that we are planning to move ahead with this. The only thing that would stop it (on our end) is if (Costco CEO Jim Sinegal) says 'no' to it. But I don't expect that to happen, and I know he visited the site a couple of years ago.”

The popular park closed down a little over three weeks ago. As for the alleged family feud that led to the closing and boxing up of the park, WGN reported earlier this spring on the feud between the property owners, Shirley Rynes and her son Glenn, and the owners of the actual park itself, Rynes' other children, Ronald Rynes Jr. and Cathy Norini. (Shirley is the daughter of the park's founder, Art Fritz.)

"They just haven't responded to us," [park co-owner/manager Tom] Norini said, "I personally haven't spoken to them in years and all of our contact is through lawyers."

Norini said contractors have been taking soil samples at the park over the last couple of weeks, leading him to believe that the other side of the family, "have a construction project lined up" for the site.

"We don't know what it is or who they're selling to, but the writing is on the wall," he added, "we had always expected that they would renew our lease. It's very sad for us."

Next up is an auction on November 24 during which several rides from the park will be sold off.