Construction has started on what will be a new BP gas station, 24-hour convenience store and fully automated car wash at the corner of Algonquin and Arlington Heights roads, officials said.
The movement is good news for the Arlington Heights intersection that has seen two large closings in the past two months -- Yanni's Greek Restaurant and Wellington of Arlington.
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"It shows that as things, close, new things come in," Mayor Arlene Mulder said. "This intersection, where we've gotten a lot of bad news lately, will have a brighter tomorrow."
The gas station and neighboring Higgley's Restaurant have been closed since 2006. The village approved plans from BP for the site in 2009, but the oil giant later sold it. Graham Enterprises of Mundelein came in with new plans, which were approved in January.
The car wash will be open 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. and have computer-operated gates that let one car go through at a time, Chris Kalischefski, president of architecture firm Corporate Design + Development Group in Hoffman Estates, said at an earlier meeting.
The building will have a heat chamber at the end so the cars are dry when they exit the building. Customers do not get out of their cars for the wash, said John Graham, partner at Graham Enterprises, and they can vacuum their own vehicles if they desire.
Graham said he 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 not all have car washes.
The convenience store will be nearly 3,000 square feet, said Matt Dabrowski, development planner for the village.
With construction just starting in August, Dabrowski predicted the new businesses would open in early spring 2013.