A new gas station, convenience store and car wash could open by July 4 on the northwest corner of Arlington Heights and Algonquin roads in Arlington Heights, the owner said Tuesday night.
The village board approved the plans submitted by Graham Enterprises of Mundelein. Demolition of the former Higgley's Restaurant and the BP station on the corner should take place in early March, depending on the weather, said John C. Graham, a partner in the company.
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The restaurant and gas station have been closed since 2006. The village approved plans from BP for the site in 2009, but then the oil giant sold it, and Graham came in with different plans.
Graham wants the architecture and signs to make clear that the gas is BP brand, but the car wash is Graham's Maverick brand and not owned or operated by BP. Graham has about 50 gas stations in the Chicago area, but all do not have carwashes.
The car wash setup includes computer-operated gates that let one car go through at a time, said Chris Kalischefski, president of Corporate Design + Development Group in Hoffman Estates, the architect. He previously told the Plan Commission that the building also has a heat chamber at the end so the cars are dry when they exit the building. The customers do not get out of their cars for the wash, Graham told the board. They will vacuum their own vehicles if they desire.
The noise expected from the car wash is less than from the traffic on the roads, according to a report from Matt Dabrowski, village planner, to the Plan Commission.
Trustee Joseph Farwell said he passes the site twice a day and is tired of looking at the peeling paint and weeds. He also said the corner is "a gateway to our south portion, especially for people coming off I-90. It's important that it's kept up and maintained."
Graham responded that his company has owned the property for just over a year and has been in the process of getting approvals most of that time. He also said this will probably be the most impressive of the company's stations.
Farwell and other trustees praised the project's design. Village President Arlene Mulder said the car wash exit facing Algonquin Road, which includes a tower, and the landscaping were particularly attractive.
Business approvals usually take 90 days rather than 10 months, Village Manager Bill Dixon said after the meeting. He said the collaboration between the owners, the Plan and the Design commissions and the village staff resulted in a good project.